Manchester City Council’s climate change plan has been rated one of the strongest of any local authority by campaigning organisation Climate Emergency UK.
Their analysis put the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan third best out of 409 UK local authorities – the highest placed metropolitan council – with a score of 87%. The average score across all local authorities was 46%.
Plans were scored against nine categories including the council’s commitment to tackling climate change integrating measures into its policies, how well plans would mitigate against the impact of climate change locally and how well plans were funded and overseen.
Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment, said: “Having a strong plan to tackle climate change is a vital foundation. It’s very heartening that detailed analysis has found ours to be one of the best and reflects the Council’s determination to play its full part in an urgent global mission.
“The challenge now is to keep delivering against it. As a council our goal is to halve our direct carbon emissions by 2025. We are currently on track to achieve this and we need other organisations, and the city as a whole to join us on this journey. Together can we achieve the goal of Manchester becoming zero carbon by 2038.”
Councils' climate change plans were assessed by a team of volunteers trained by Climate Emergency UK. Only West Somerset and Taunton Council (91%) and West Midlands Combined Authority (89%) scored higher than Manchester City Council.
Manchester City Council’s Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 sits within a wider framework for the city. Both aim for significant reduction in damaging carbon emissions, with the ultimate target of Manchester becoming zero carbon by 2038 – 12 years ahead of the national target of 2050.
Actions being undertaken include decarbonising public buildings through the use of solar energy and ground and air-source heat pumps, mass tree planting and the creation of new green spaces such as Mayfield Park, increasing use of electric vehicles including electric bin lorries, improved walking and cycling infrastructure, developing new approaches to community engagement and the creation of new low carbon social homes.