Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

Manchester Climate Change Annual Progress Report

Report of the Strategic Lead Policy and Partnerships, Head of Local Planning and Infrastructure and Manchester Climate Change Agency

 

This report provides information on the progress that has been made towards the delivery of the existing 2020 targets for the City of Manchester as a whole and Manchester City Council.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Lead Policy and Partnerships

Head of Local Planning and Infrastructure and the Manchester Climate Change Agency that provided an update on the progress that had been made towards the delivery of the existing 2020 targets for the City of Manchester as a whole and Manchester City Council.

 

The Strategic Lead Policy and Strategy referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         An update on the activity which was underway to develop new plans to ensure progress towards the new zero carbon 2038 targets;

·         Information on the activity of the Manchester Climate Change Agency;

·         An update on citywide progress to date, noting that to date the city has achieved a 5% reduction in carbon emissions since 2017, versus the 13% target;

?     An update on Manchester City Council’s emissions noting that the Council had committed to reducing its direct carbon emissions by 41% by 2019/2020 from a 2009/10 baseline;

?     Data for the 2018/19 financial year showed that the Council’s direct emissions had reduced by 48.1% since the 2009/10 baseline meaning that the 41% target had been achieved and surpassed a year ahead of schedule; and

·         New plans for the Council and the City would be published in March 2020, noting that the Council would need to play a critical role in supporting the city as a whole to reach its zero carbon ambitions through a variety of roles and responsibilities.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·         Noting the importance of this issue and recognising that the Council had declared a climate emergency;

·         Would Council plans and policies be reviewed to take into consideration the Climate Emergency motion;

·         Noting that some reductions could be attributed to external factors that had been imposed on the Council as a result of budget cuts; such as the loss of staff and subsequent building closures;

·         Why was crowd funding used to finance the Youth Board within Manchester Climate Agency;

·         Aviation emissions could not be ignored and more needed to be done to encourage journeys to and from the airport via public transport; 

·         More alternative transport should be provided across the city, noting that the tram service did not cover all of the city;

·         An explanation was sought as to the reported Red, Amber and Green ratings;

·         The Committee should establish a Subgroup to consider the issue of Climate Change on a regular basis in addition to regular reports to the Committee;

·         The importance of engaging local residents in this agenda and to support this all Neighbourhood Officers should receive carbon literacy training as soon as possible; and

·         The need to engage the business sector in this important area of work to deliver the ambitious targets.

 

The Strategic Lead Policy and Strategy said that policies and the plan would be reviewed in consideration of the recent Council motion including procurement policy. In regard to the Red, Amber and Green ratings that were referred to in Appendix 3 of the report, he said that these were officer decisions at present and a new action plan would be developed. He further stated in response to a question from a Member that the vehicles used by Biffa were emission compliant and the options for using electric vehicles were already being explored. Noting the comment from the Committee regarding the carbon emissions saved by buildings, he said that he acknowledged the impact of external factors such as national emissions factors, budget reductions and rationalisation of the Council’s estate, however other factors, such as the refitting of Moss Side Leisure Centre had realised emissions savings. He further stated that discussions were currently ongoing with the HROD department to explore options for delivering the carbon literacy training to priority staff groups.

 

Mr Sadler commented that the funding and financial balance that the Member referred to was EU funding provided to the Agency as ‘pre-financing’, in advance of the delivery of activities over the five-years of the project. He added that the Manchester Climate Change Youth Board had proven to be successful in starting to reach and connect with young people across the city, and representing their views to decision-makers. However, that their capacity was limited and that the decision had been made to raise funding for a designated Youth Climate Action Champion. Fund raising was currently underway. Regarding Manchester’s climate change targets he stated that the adoption of a carbon budget for the City that had been independently set by experts in the field of climate change was an important development, noting that the carbon budget of 15 million tonnes CO2 for 2018-2100 was limited and could not be exceeded. He added that framing Manchester’s climate change targets as a limited budget was more helpful than focusing on the end-date for achieving zero carbon. He stated that all citizens, organisations and partners were important to achieving this goal and invited all Members to lead on this within their communities and neighbourhoods to facilitate change and challenge. He set out that the Agency were looking to engage with residents and organisations during 2019 to a) set out what Manchester needs to do to meet its targets b) to understand the work that is already underway and c) to understand the additional support that residents and organisations need to enable them to act.

 

The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport commented that all citizens, businesses, schools, were collectively responsible for delivering this work as the Council alone could not deliver this, adding that the Council accounted for approximately 2% of the city’s overall carbon footprint for the city as a whole. She acknowledged that the Airport was an important issue, stating that all ground services at Manchester Airport were carbon neutral. She said that the Council would continue to seek to influence and challenge the aviation industry and lobby national government regarding aviation emissions and would also work with the Tyndall Centre to understand the emissions from the airport as a percentage of the overall carbon budget for Manchester. She commented that whilst this was an important area of work it was important to recognise that aviation emissions nationally accounted for 2% of overall emissions.

 

The Chair stated that she supported the recommendation proposed by a Member to establish a Subgroup of the Committee to review and monitor the work related to Climate Change. She informed the Committee that she would consult with the Members to consider the best options for progressing this and report back to the Committee.

 

Decision

 

1. The Committee recommend that a Subgroup of the Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee be established to review and monitor the work related to Climate Change.

 

2. The Committee recommend that the Chair of the Committee consult with the Member proposing the Subgroup to consider the best options for progressing this and report back to the Committee.

 

Supporting documents: