Salford commits to tackle climate change as leaders thrash out deal in Paris

As the Paris Climate Conference comes to a close, Salford Council has announced their own commitment to creating a more sustainable future.

Salford City mayor Ian Stewart has given his backing to both Greater Manchester Community Renewables Ltd (GMCR) and Moss Community Energy.

Both groups are looking to raise funds from a community share offer in order to install solar panels in local schools and community buildings.

Mr Stewart, who is a keen supporter of the projects, said: “The answers to tackling climate change lie in the community.

“I’m delighted to sign an agreement with these two exciting and innovative groups to show the council’s full support.”

The GMCR hope to raise £250,000 and the scheme will see those who choose to invest in the project receiving an annual return on their shares, whilst the schools involved will benefit from cheaper electricity.

Any other profits will then go towards a community fund to support local carbon reduction and environmental education projects.

Similarly, Moss Community Energy will be looking to fund solar panels at Moss Lane Farm, with their profits going towards climate change education and fuel poverty projects.

Eddie Sheehy, the Director of Moss Community Energy said: “In the current economic and political climate the power of local people has the potential to make real progress in sustainability.

“We are really pleased that Salford Council recognise the importance of community energy and have agreed to work with together with us.”

Ali Abbas, the Director of GMCR, who is currently in Paris for the conference, the solar panels will provide a ‘massive opportunity’ for children to learn about energy.

He also noted that the mood at the conference was ‘positive’ and he had heard many ‘inspiring’ things from speakers and activists.

He told MM: “There’s people out there doing good things and if the politicians don’t do it for us we’ll take it into our own hands.”

The commitment to the projects is one in a series of eco-inspired moves from Salford City Council, having installed solar panels at the Civic Centre.

The council has reduced carbon emissions by 22.5 per cent since 2009, through decisions that make both economic and environmental sense.

The announcement comes as many in the North continue to battle with the devastating after-effects of Storm Desmond, which scientists believe to be linked to climate change.

Researchers at Oxford University and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) calculated that climate change had made the flooding event 40% more likely.

Image courtesy of emilian_robert_vicol, with thanks.

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