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Outlook for 2014 from the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub Image

Outlook for 2014 from the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub

Last cracker pulled, turkey soup made, tree and cards recycled and decorations put away for another year....... Christmas is definitely over. Thoughts have now turned to the New Year and what 2014 will hold for the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub. 

With the usual  caveats of "subject to approval and available funding" here are my predictions for what the Hub and its partners will deliver in the next 12 months:

More energy efficient buildings

  • Launch of a Greater Manchester Green Deal offer for householders, expanding our existing ECO scheme;
  • Delivery of a £multi-million Green Deal Communities pilot programme;
  • Publication of a Retrofit Strategy;
  • Procure and begin to deliver a significant public sector building retrofit programme;
  • A 'low carbon buildings partnership' for commercial sector will be established with the region's commercial building owners to share best practice in energy efficiency; and
  • Develop a collaborative fuel poverty programme.

Increased sustainable consumption

  • Help business to benefit from the transition to a more sustainable economy;
  • Establish an active programme of environmental business support, to be delivered by ENWORKS as part of the Growing the Green Economy Programme;
  • Mass engagement of businesses via existing and emerging support structures in the public and private sector to maximise the number of businesses who become informed about the SCP agenda and what it means to them; and
  • Identify and develop a strategy for sustainable food for Greater Manchester.

Better prepare GM to adapt to climate change and improve environmental quality

  • Create a higher public profile for quality green and blue infrastructure;
  • Better understanding of the role that key natural assets will play in delivering ecosystem services for GM;
  • Build climate change resilience measures into GM's emergency planning framework and protocols; and
  • Develop partnerships on fluvial and surface water management planning and develop a Greater Manchester Flood Management Strategy.

Reduce emissions from transport

  • Establish carbon emissions baseline from transport and the best opportunity to reduce them over and above existing planned measures;
  • Deliver the new Metrolink extensions to Rochdale and Oldham Town Centres;
  • Deliver the cross city bus and Leigh-Salford-Manchester Bus way investment programme; and
  • Increase the number of cycle hubs and public transport interchange points through Local Sustainable Transport Funds.

Increase energy production and smarter distribution

  • Commence an air source heat pump and energy aggregation demonstration programme in 600 social houses;
  • Explore the potential for a GM Energy Enterprise to develop, manage and trade energy assets, tariffs and consumption;
  • Begin to establish a heat network in Manchester Civic Quarter, its wider connection to other network opportunities and undertake further feasibility studies for heat networks with the greatest potential for return on investment;
  • Run another collective energy switching campaign for householders; and
  • Undertake a mapping of the available onshore wind and micro hydro energy generation potential in GM’s rural locations to potential support community energy generation schemes.

Get more people into work through enhancing skills

  • Get a better understanding of the low carbon skills demand from employers; and
  • improve training facilities for low carbon and environmental technologies installation, service and maintenance courses.

Grow the environment/low carbon business sector

  • Embed the Low Carbon Hub objectives in to the procurement processes of Local Authorities to maximise opportunities for companies in the Low Carbon Environment Goods and Service (LCEGS) Sector;
  • Establish an active programme of business support for the LCEGS sector, to be delivered by ENWORKS as part of the Growing the Green Economy Programme; and
  • Publication and dissemination of the future low carbon cities inward investment proposition to attract overseas investors to Greater Manchester.

To deliver these outcomes effectively, the Hub will need to continue to improve our partnership working with the wider Greater Manchester public, private and voluntary sectors.  In particular, we will have established a forum with GM universities to better transfer knowledge to improving public policy and programme development.

Through 'On the Platform', the AGMA website and other social media we will increasingly raise awareness of the work being undertaken by the Hub, provide engagement opportunities for our partners and the general public and be transparent about our plans.