Manchester is set to become the first region in the UK to adopt an accelerated plan for carbon reduction over the next five years.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham outlined plans to remove one million tonnes of carbon from the region while speaking at the Greater Manchester Green Summit yesterday (18 October).
Burnham called on the more than 1,000 attendees of the summit to support the plans ahead of the annual United Nations climate change conference, the COP26, which begins on Sunday (24 October).
He said: “We have a detailed, science-based plan for a levelled-up net zero city-region by 2038 – with better transport, homes and jobs for our residents.
“We are ready now to up the pace over the next five years through the Levelling Up Deal we have presented to Government.
“If they back us at the Spending Review next week, we will be the first UK city-region on an accelerated path and a template for others.
“This will add real credibility to the UK Government’s COP26 image to the world.”
If implemented in full Burnham’s proposed Levelling Up Deal will remove a million tonnes of carbon from Greater Manchester’s economy.
Plans revealed a major overhaul of the region’s public transport system, with the aim of removing 100,000 tonnes of carbon.
This includes the addition of hundreds of kilometres of new cycle and bus lanes, the switching of GM buses and taxis to electric energy, and EV chargers being installed throughout the region.
850,000 tonnes of carbon could be removed through retrofitting and energy generation, including heat decarbonisation, retrofit programmes across public sector, schools and housing, and the Go Neutral smart energy programme.
The mayor called on Government to deliver on its pledge to level up the country by backing his ambitious green agenda.
He reiterated the need for a London-style public transport system which would make transport affordable and accessible to hundreds of thousands of Mancunians across the region.
Greater Manchester has already made faster progress in the past four years than over the entire preceding decade.
This has been made possible by whole-system transformation incorporating housing, design and innovation, regeneration, smart energy and jobs and embracing low carbon heat and renewable energy generation and storage.
GMCA’s Lead for the Green City-Region, Cllr Neil Emmott, said: “Reaching net zero carbon emissions is more than just an environmental issue.
“Hitting the target will transform lives in the Greater Manchester, levelling us up to one of the best and greenest places in the country.
“It will improve health outcomes, tackle inequalities, generate good quality and secure quality jobs and make out communities better to live, learn and work in.
“A green city-region is a levelled-up city region; a great place to live in every sense.”
Main image courtesy of Greater Manchester Combined Authority https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/