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Manchester raises the bar with new carbon target

The announcement places the city in a league of leading cities globally in setting science-based targets for tackling climate change.

The revised plan will see the city capping total emissions at 15 million tonnes from 2018 – 2100, and also committing to a 13 per cent year-on-year reduction in emissions from 2018 onwards - becoming zero carbon by 2038, well in advance of the previous commitment to achieve this goal by 2050. 

The new target is set out in a report to be considered by Manchester City Council’s Executive next week, proposed by the city’s Climate Change Board and in line with research carried out by the world-renowned Tyndall Centre for Climate Change.  
The report, which follows recent international reports stressing the importance of making rapid reductions in  global carbon emissions, outlines that all of the city’s sectors will need to greatly reduce their carbon emissions, if the target is to be met. It highlights the council’s leadership role, in working with businesses and housing providers to help them to become more energy-efficient and with Transport for Greater Manchester to encourage further uptake of public transport, cycling and walking, by investing in new infrastructure.   

"Going further is necessary if we are to play our full part"

According to Executive Member for the Environment Councillor Angeliki Stogia, the new target is 'challenging' but necessary:"It is clear that going further is necessary if we are to play our full part in limiting the future impacts of climate change," she said. "A zero carbon city will have many benefits for our citizens, not least enhanced air quality, better public transport networks, lower energy bills and future job opportunities in the growing low-carbon energy sector.

"However, the council cannot do this on its own.  We will all need to play our part in reducing Manchester’s carbon emissions - and will all share in the benefits of a healthier city when our goal is met.”

How typical of Manchester to step forward and lead in this way.

The move has already won praise nationally. The Chair of the UK Committee on Climate Change, Lord Deben, said: "This gives me real hope. How typical of Manchester to step forward and lead in this way. Making changes is never easy but cleaning up the local economy will really help people in Manchester and could become a blueprint for other cities around the world."

And the chair of the city's climate change board, Gavin Elliot, congratuled city leaders for taking this bold but critical decision: "This places Manchester at the very forefront of world cities leading on this issue, and creates a massive opportunity to transform the city both environmentally, socially and economically.

"We’re very proud of the role the Climate Change Agency has played in helping the city to arrive at this point, and look forward to working with all stakeholders across the city to help them grasp this incredible opportunity, to the benefit of both our and future generations," he said.