Summit outlines ‘challenging but necessary’ green city goals

Nearly 2,000 people attended Greater Manchester’s Green Summit on 25 March to hear from the likes of the Prince Charles and naturalist Chris Packham on the city region’s carbon neutral plans.

Posted on 3 April 2019

 

Nearly 2,000 people attended Greater Manchester’s Green Summit on 25 March to hear from the likes of the Prince Charles and naturalist Chris Packham on the city region’s carbon neutral plans. 

Hundreds of residents, school pupils, businesses and community groups attended the Summit, which saw the launch of a new five-year environment plan that aims to put the city region on the path to becoming carbon neutral by 2038.

The event was streamed live and can be re-watched here.

Special video messages from internationally-renowned leaders of the environmental movement were shown to the audience, with HRH The Prince of Wales saying that he was “enormously encouraged” by Greater Manchester’s plans. 

Other keynote speakers at the summit included mayor Andy Burnham; Lemn Sissay, poet and chancellor of the University of Manchester; and school student Emma Greenwood, climate striker and Youth MP for Bury.

‘Challenging, but the right thing to do’

The science-based plan for carbon neutrality requires rapid and ambitious action by local authorities, businesses and communities alike. The scale of the challenge, for example, includes:

•   A 38 per cent reduction in industrial greenhouse gas emissions by 2025

•   A ten per cent reduction in heating and cooling demand, per year, by 2025

•   Installing enough solar capacity to cover 50 per cent of household roofs and an additional 5.5km2 of commercial premises by 2040

•   Phasing out gas boilers so low carbon technologies account for 60 per cent of all domestic and commercial heating by 2040

•   Reaching a recycling rate of 65 per cent by 2035 (currently 47 per cent)

•   Ensuring 100 per cent of all cars are zero emission by 2035.

“Greater Manchester wants to be carbon neutral by 2038. Our plan is the UK’s first science-based commitment for a city region like ours, and one of the first of its kind globally,” mayor Andy Burnham said.

“Achieving our ambition will be very challenging, but it is the right thing to do. The big challenge is how we use the need to take fossil fuel out of our lives and economy to transform Greater Manchester so it works for everyone.”

Advice for businesses

The plan offers advice to businesses and organisations on how they can contribute to Greater Manchester’s goal, including:

•   Switch to a renewable energy supplier by making use of exclusive offers through the GM Green Switch campaign

•   Install renewable electricity generation at premises or consider partnering with community energy groups to do so

•   Measure, report on and improve the operational energy efficiency of premises

•   Plan for low carbon heating technology when next replacing heating systems

•   Plan for the switch to electric vehicles and support employees with sustainable travel through flexible working hours, promoting public transport and providing cycling facilities

•   Review processes to identify where efficiencies can be made in design and production

•   Make sustainability principles part of business procurement policy

•   If premises includes land, manage for wildlife or consider tree planting

•   Promote local environmental volunteering amongst employees

Businesses can access fully-funded specialist advice and sustainability support from GC Business Growth Hub.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted under General Interest, Carbon Reduction, Energy Efficiency, Material and Packaging Efficiency, Waste Management and Climate Change and What it Means to You on 3 April 2019