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Manchester's Climate Change Call to Action

The 8th July saw the release of the 7th report on how the city is performing against its carbon emission reduction targets, and the annual Manchester Climate Change Conference 2019 at the University of Manchester. 

The conference looked at the progress the city is already making towards these targets, and crucially helped the evening’s delegates answer the questions – are we on track to meet the zero carbon 2038 target, what next for the city, and what can I do?

Currently our city is emitting far too many carbon dioxide emissions to stay within our agreed carbon budget and play our part in limiting global warming to no more than 2° C. Manchester was one of the first cities in the world to establish science-based carbon reduction targets based on independent analysis and recommendations. Experts at the Tyndall Centre have calculated our ‘carbon budget’ and found that the amount of CO2 we can emit is 15 million tonnes for the period 2018 to 2100. That means we are only allowed to “spend” 15 million tonnes of CO2 between 2018 and the end of the century if we are to keep our commitments to help limit the impacts of the climate crisis. We currently emit 2 million tonnes every year, so at the current rate we will run out of the ability to use fossil fuels and emit any more CO2 by 2025.

On the 8th July, Lindsey Chapman, from the BBC’s Springwatch programme welcomed delegates after over 450 people signed up for the conference. Those attending learnt about what else is happening in the city by talking to a host of organisations working to tackle climate change across the city – including Bruntwood, Manchester City Football Club, TfGM, ITV, Groundwork and the universities. They also heard from many local organisations based in the community such as Manchester Friends of the Earth and Hulme Community Garden Centre.


So how do we stay within Our Carbon Budget?


The MCCB CO2 Monitoring Group has analysed the latest Government data released in June 2019 and has estimated that the city will need to reduce emissions by even steeper amount over the next few years to stay within the carbon budget. This amount of reduction is unprecedented in Manchester – last year the city reduced CO2 emissions by 2.5% - we need to be reducing emissions every year by at least 13.5 % from now. This is the city’s call to action - how do we go from 2.5% to over 13% reductions from now?

In return we will get cleaner air, better homes, clean energy, a public transport system that works for everyone, secure jobs and successful businesses in a thriving zero carbon economy.

So far over 60 organisations from across 10 sectors have committed to helping Manchester meet its targets. Between them they are responsible for over 20% of the city’s CO2 emissions, and have influence over some of the remaining 80%. In February 2019, working as part of the Manchester Climate Change Board, they published an approach that will enable all Manchester organisations and individuals to get involved. This year, our [MOU3] Board have agreed to evolve into a wider ‘Manchester Climate Change Partnership’, to enable new partners to be part of the city’s collective efforts.


Gavin Elliott, Chair, Manchester Climate Change Board, said:

“To have any chance of meeting our targets, climate change now needs to reach every home in the city, every classroom, every board table, and every Town Hall committee room.”


Notes to Editors

● In February 2019 Manchester Climate Change Board and Agency published a Draft Framework to set out a proposed approach for Manchester to meet its targets. The Draft Framework was endorsed by the city council at Executive Committee on 13th March 2019

● The Manchester Tyndall Report on the Manchester Carbon Budget Quantifying the implications of the Paris Agreement for Manchester is available from

● The Zero Carbon Manchester Annual Review 2019 is available from

● MCCB CO2 Monitoring Group is made up of Dr Joe Blakey, UoM, Dr Jaise Kuriakose, Tyndall Centre and Dr Ali Abbas, Director MCCA.

● National Statistics covering 2017 estimates of carbon dioxide emissions at local authority level were published on Thursday 27th June on the BEIS area of the GOV.UK website:

● Using estimated data based upon UK CO2 reductions, Manchester is estimated to have reduced emissions by 8% from domestic emissions, 5% by transport and 3% from business emissions over 2017-18. The Carbon Budget will require the city to reduce emissions by an average of 15.5% by 2020 to stay within its budget.

● The 6th Manchester Climate Change Conference takes place at 5:30pm on Monday 8th July at the University of Manchester.

● All enquiries to Lisa Lingard on 07917672602