The Council and democracy Zero Carbon Manchester

Annual reports

This report provides an overview of progress made in delivering Manchester City Council’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) 2020-25 during its third year; April 2022 – March 2023.

The report focuses on the Council’s activity to reduce its direct carbon emissions, highlighting key achievements and challenges faced during the reporting period. It showcases the Council specific actions and city-wide leadership actions that were identified as priority within the CCAP Work Plan 2022-23 and an overall RAG (Red, Amber, Green) risk rating of each action within the CCAP has been included in Appendix 1 – Action RAG at Glance.


Manchester City Council (MCC) declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019 and in response, developed a 5-year Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) 2020-25, to outline its ambition to tackle climate change and take action to become a zero-carbon organisation by 2038.

The CCAP includes 47 actions organised into five thematic workstreams, each split into two sections – Council direct actions and City-wide leadership actions. The five workstreams are:

  • Buildings and Energy
  • Travel and Transport
  • Reducing Consumption Based Emissions & Influencing Suppliers
  • Adaptation & Carbon Sequestration
  • Influencing behaviour & Being a Catalyst for Change

In September 2021, the Zero Carbon Coordination Group, which oversees MCC’s Climate Change Action Plan agreed a mid-point refresh of the current 5-year CCAP 2020-2025, to show progress made to date, update milestones and include new actions, which are clear and measurable. 

The refreshed CCAP was approved by the Council’s Executive Committee on 14 September 2022 and is designed to ensure the Council is remaining on track to reduce its direct carbon (CO2) emissions and demonstrating how Manchester City Council is leading by example, giving renewed focus to the city-wide actions within the Action Plan.

Key Messages

  • Our CCAP 2020-25 has a carbon budget of 126,336 tonnes of CO2 (tCO2). The Council has made good progress to date and is on track to remain within the carbon budget having only used 57% of our budget within the first 3 years of the CCAP 2020-25. 
  • The Council has only used 89% of our 2022-23 carbon budget during the year (April 2022 – March 2023), meaning we have outperformed the target by 11%. 
  • During 2022-23 (April 2022 – March 2023), MCC emitted 22,072 tCO2, which is 8.5% lower than the previous year.  
  • 55% of the actions in the CCAP 2020-25 are working to target (Green in the RAG) and the remaining are work in progress (45% of actions are Amber in the RAG).

Key achievements

  • In 2022-23 include £21.3m invested into energy efficiency and decarbonisation measures to improve 18 Council buildings saving 2,212 tCO2 per year;
  • Skate Manchester connected to mains power reducing diesel generator usage saving 50,000 litres of diesel, the equivalent of 9 0tCO2e;
  • Mayfield Park opened, 6.5 acres of green space within the city centre;
  • The Council winning the Sustainability and Social Value Award at the Public Finance Awards 2022 for its CCAP.


Risks that arose during 2022-23 included rising inflation costs causing an increase in the cost of materials for infrastructure and retrofit projects; reduced levels of funding and more competitive funding programmes released by UK Government with tighter eligibility criteria and the lack of an established green skills sector to deliver projects. 

Annual Report on the Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25:

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