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A Greater, Greener Manchester: Have Your Say

Many (soon to be all) of Greater Manchester's districts have independently signed up to the UK 100 Cities '100% Clean by 2050’ commitment.

Greater Manchester has always been committed to reducing carbon emissions and the region is currently on track to meet its 2020 target of a 48% reduction (from 1990).

In support of this commitment, the GM Mayor’s manifesto includes a pledge to hold a Green Summit within his first year of office “to declare a new, accelerated ambition for Greater Manchester on the green economy and carbon-neutrality” and “ask experts and city stakeholders to lead a public debate on what that new goal should be.”

The Green Summit will be held on 21st March 2018 at the Manchester Convention Centre.

The Mayor would like to highlight Greater Manchester’s leadership on this agenda by setting a new ambition for clean air, access to quality green-space and an accelerated ambition for Greater Manchester to become ‘carbon neutral’ before 2050.

These outputs directly relate to wider socio-economic benefits such as improved health and reduced fuel and food poverty. They also reduce flood and business risk and support sectoral growth.

To ensure that the views of Greater Manchester's citizens, businesses and organisations are heard, we intend to bring together stakeholders, academics and environmentalists by hosting Green Summit ‘listening’ events.

These events will aim to determine how citizens can best shape their future and demonstrate how we can work together on environmental issues that affect us all, whilst supporting the development of a Green Charter leading up to and as part of the Summit.

Greater Manchester has received funding from BEIS to develop a city region transition pathway to 2050 (SCATTER) and tools for other Core Cities to develop future low carbon pathways which will help to inform what a future carbon neutral target date should be.

Five SCATTER workshops were held in mid-November for industry experts on the topics of Transport, Energy, Buildings, Sustainable Consumption and Production and Natural Capital.

Feedback from these events will help to inform the low carbon pathway for Greater Manchester and provide some of the base information required to engage a wider audience.

It is proposed that an Environment Charter be created for Greater Manchester to set out a new `Vision’, based on the feedback from the SCATTER workshops and wider listening events.

The Charter will set out a narrative of what a future Greater Manchester would look like in environmental terms; set out a date by which Greater Manchester could aim to be carbon neutral, set out some detailed short term actions (to 2020) including key actions from the existing Climate Change and Low Emissions Implementation Plan (2016-2020) and identify longer term requirements for us to achieve carbon neutrality by the specified date.

We want to listen to the views of our residents to better understand their aspirations for Greater Manchester - what sort of city do they want to live and work in? What do they want to leave behind for future generations?

We will use the listening events, expert workshops and social media to stimulate a discussion that will inform this new environmental vision for the city region, whilst ensuring that suitable areas of interest and ‘communities’ within Greater Manchester are targeted, invited and engaged in the lead-up to the Green Summit.

Proposals for the listening events are still being formulated and offers of support to host workshops have been received from Pro-Manchester, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, NW Business Leadership Team, MACF and others.

These events will be held throughout January and February 2018 and will comprise a mix of themed and general environment events.

We have developed an online public consultation to gather your feedback on our efforts to combat climate change and will use it to guide our vision for Greater Manchester.

We are also setting up channels so that people can share their thoughts and opinions, whilst the GMCA email, website and social channels will enable people to correspond and coordinate with others.

Further information about the Mayor’s Green Summit and listening event dates will be published (and tweeted) on Platform, the GMCA website and our partners’ websites.

This work is being financially supported by the Environment Agency, further funding from BEIS and a small number of Low Carbon Hub Board member organisations (Siemens, United Utilities, Electricity Northwest, Environment Agency and the University of Salford).

Follow us @GMLowCarbonHub @GreaterMcr.

Don't forget to complete our online questionaire and share your ideas on creating a natural, livable and more prosperous Greater Manchester.

Main image: Manchester town hall by Richard Hopkins using a Creative Commons licence.