The Council and democracy Climate Change Action Plan - Progress Update Q1 April - June 2022

Introduction and progress report headlines

This report is focused on the Manchester City Council's journey to being zero carbon by 2038 at the latest and sets out the latest progress of the Council's Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) 2020-25. All activity described in this report relates to the period in which the report is issued, in this instance April to June 2022, and specifically focuses on Manchester City Council's own direct CO2 emissions as well as its city-wide leadership role. Emissions data relates to the previous quarter due to the delay in billing and data monitoring, i.e., January to March 2022.

Progress report headlines

Key Achievements:

  • Manchester City Council has been shortlisted for two awards for its zero carbon programme: 2022 MJ Achievement Award Finalist for ‘Leadership in Responding to Climate Emergency’ and LGC Award 2022 for ‘Climate Response’. 
  • The Council, along with MCCA have engaged with the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission (UK CCIC) as part of a research study to understand the ways in which local authorities identify funds and deliver net zero projects. GMCA have also been approached as part of the study
  • Strategic Housing Service Project Manager is now in post and will support delivery of Housing Investment & Retrofit. 
  • Salix (grant administrator) has formally approved the extension of Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme Phase 1 to the end June 2022. This extension will allow for all contracted works affected by delays during the project period to be completed by the new deadline. 
  • £1.07bn of UK Government funding for Greater Manchester (GM) has been confirmed, the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement for 2022-2027 will be used to deliver a range of projects across the GM.
  • A Sustainability Project Manager has been appointed to deliver the Council's commitment to be Single Use Plastic Free by 2024.
  • The Culture and Events teams are the first cohort within the Council to undertake a bespoke Carbon Literacy training programme, delivered by Julie’s Bicycle. This additional training aims to equip Culture and Events staff with further carbon literacy knowledge specific to supporting the organisations they work with to be more environmentally sustainable and to reduce their own carbon emissions. This training was well received, and staff are now looking to apply their learnings with the organisations they engage with
  • UK China Hydrogen Forum launched at an official event attended by the Chinese embassy. This project aims to improve understanding of the opportunities and challenges of using hydrogen, particularly in cities and will focus on Manchester and Wuhan as pilot partners.  
  • MCCA submitted a funding bid to the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund for just under £2.5m, to support a three-year, city-wide community climate action programme. The programme will engage and support both place-based communities and those who want to reduce their carbon footprint through more sustainable lifestyle choices. A decision is expected mid-June.  
  • Six community groups, established through the In Our Nature programme, delivered a range of successful activities, workshops and knowledge sharing in their local communities, focusing on areas such as recycling, growing food and planting.  
  • Successfully hosted the Bee Green Education Summit for Schools and educational settings, in partnership with Co-op Connell College.

New Risks and Issues: 

  • Rising inflation and increasing costs of materials required for infrastructure schemes is putting delivery within allocated budgets at risk.
  • Accurate calculation of carbon emissions for the Civic Quarter Heat Network (CQHN) is complex and challenging. The energy provider for the CQHN produced analysis regarding the allocation of carbon across the heat and power outputs to the energy centre, which will help to work through the complexities and allow for more accurate emissions reporting in the future.
  • UK Government is tightening budgets for public transport services, for example funding for the GM Bus Service Improvement Plan is 50% less than requested, risking local public transport services and associated benefits for decarbonisation targets.
  • The national jobs market is very competitive and attracting suitable and sufficiently qualified candidates for recruitment opportunities is a challenge.
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