Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

The Subgroup will hear from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research who will be attending to present and discuss their review of the scope and targets for Manchester's climate change commitments. The review will take into account the latest science and international best practice for cities and will include further analysis and recommendations on aviation and consumption based emissions.

Minutes:

Jonny Sadler, Programme Director, Manchester Climate Change Agency introduced the item. The Agency had commissioned the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research to undertake four pieces of work and make recommendations, as required, in relation to: the city’s direct CO2 emissions; the city’s indirect / consumption-based CO2 emissions; aviation emissions, and; methodology for organisations and sectors to set science-based targets.

 

The Subgroup heard from Dr John Broderick and Dr Chris Jones, from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research who had been invited to present their work to date on the review of the city direct and aviation CO2 targets. Noting that the review would take into account the latest science and international best practice for cities and would include further analysis and recommendations on aviation and consumption based emissions.

 

The Subgroup considered the key points in the presentations, which included: -

 

Direct CO2 emissions

 

·         Based on currently scientific analysis the draft recommendations and key points in regard to direct emissions were -

-          Retain the existing 15 MtCO2 carbon budget, recognising that the latest science would allow Manchester to increase its budget to 18m tonnes;

-          Revisit carbon budgets in five years or in response to a new scientific synthesis report;

-          Focus on above 13% per annum reduction rate and meeting interim budgets;

-          Note that delays in achieving the 13% per annum reductions would require higher reduction rates in subsequent years;

-          Note that in relation to a date to become zero carbon, this is determined by historic emissions and the reduction rate then required in future years to stay within the 15m tonne budget i.e. the zero carbon date will change if the 13% annual reduction target is not met; and

-          Note that in relation to the potential 2030 zero carbon date, insufficient detail has been provided to enable Tyndall to analyse whether or not this is in line with the latest science. The main criteria to consider are: maximum carbon budget of 15m tonnes 2018-2100; 13% per annum reduction, as a minimum.

 

Aviation

 

·         UK aviation emissions should stay within a carbon budget of 1,262m tonnes CO2 2018-2100, to be in line with the Paris Agreement, versus 1,705m tonnes of estimated forecast emissions based on Government’s current plans for UK aviation;

·         MCC and Manchester Airport should work with UK Government and other UK airports to establish a plan for staying within this budget;

·         Data was available to monitor and report estimated figures for CO2 emissions from flights by Manchester residents;

·         Data was not currently available to monitor and report estimated figures for CO2 emissions from flights by Manchester businesses but could be developed; and

·         Manchester Airport could become a ‘pioneer organisation’ with other members of the Manchester Climate Change Partnership, in relation to its ground operations.

 

The Committee heard from Adam Pierce, resident of Manchester, who said that it was his opinion that Manchester needed to be bold and imaginative to effectively respond to climate change, utilising the creativity and skills of the many residents across the city who were engaged in this subject. He called for increased action and visible leadership from the Council to support residents to proactively respond to this issue. He suggested that consideration should be given to introducing a free travel scheme as an incentive for those residents who wished to scrap their vehicles.  

 

The Subgroup heard from Louise Sheridan, resident of Manchester, who stated that it was her opinion that the Council had failed to deliver on its previous promise to deliver a citywide 41% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 from a 2005 baseline. She further said that it was her opinion that the Leader of the Council should be summonsed to a meeting of the Subgroup to explain this.

 

In response to this comment the Programme Director, Manchester Climate Change Agency reminded the Members that a report submitted to the July 2019 meeting of the Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee had described that the latest data showed that citywide emissions had reduced by 40% since 2005 and the Council’s direct emissions had reduced by 48.1% from a 2009/10 baseline. He stated that since then the Council had adopted a more challenging science-based carbon budget for the city. A Member also commented that it was everyone’s responsibility to act on climate change.

 

The Subgroup heard from Claire Stocks, resident of Manchester, who stated that it was her opinion that the claim that the Council accounted for approximately 2% of the city’s overall carbon emissions was used as an excuse, and that the Council needed to be bolder in its response to the climate emergency. The Deputy Chief Executive responded that the 2.5% figure related to direct emissions, however the Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 was much wider in its aims and ambitions and would demonstrate leadership on this issue. She informed Members that that the draft action plan would be submitted to the February meeting of the Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee for comment.

 

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

 

·         Consideration needed to be given to the impact of activities, such as developments on carbon budgets for other cities;

·         Whilst supporting the increased use of electric vehicles, consideration needed to be given to the unintended impact of this, such as increased emissions from power stations required to produce electricity;

·         Did the carbon budget include carbon emissions from all sources;

·         Noting that contributors to emissions, such as the motorway network were not directly controlled locally and this could negatively impact on achieving any carbon reduction targets. Adding that central government and responsible agencies needed to take immediate action on those areas of infrastructure that they had responsibility for;

·         Requesting that the research and information that had informed the presentation be circulated to all members of the Subgroup;

·         Emissions from aviation needed to be taken into consideration;

·         The impact on climate change as a result of growth at the airport needed to be understood and taken into consideration and decisions taken should not undermine the ambitions to address climate change;

·         The Council should use its stake as an owner in the airport as a mechanism to influence positive change; and  

·         Consideration should be given to the introduction of a frequent flyer levy to deter people from flying and reduce emissions from aviation.

 

The Programme Director, Manchester Climate Change Agency informed the Members that the Tyndall Centre had made their draft independent recommendations and findings based upon the latest scientific analysis and work to date. The Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25 would set out in high-level terms what the city needed to do to meet its targets. He stated that an update on the development Framework would be presented to the February meeting of the Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee for comment and this would be an opportunity for an honest discussion as to how the city needed to responded to the carbon budget and also identify any gaps.

 

The Programme Director, Manchester Climate Change Agency clarified that the city’s current carbon budget related to energy related emissions from buildings and transport emissions. He further commented that consideration would need to be given to understanding and measuring indirect emissions, created as a result of consumption and the impact this had on other cities, both nationally and internationally. In response to the comments regarding electric vehicles he stated that the national grid would need to continue to decarbonise, combined with increases in the amount of renewable energy generated within the city.

 

In regard to the airport, the Programme Director, Manchester Climate Change Agency commented that it was important to understand where the emissions were generated from, noting the difference between aviation and the actual airport site. The Deputy Chief Executive added to this by stating that the actual airport ground operation was carbon neutral. A Member recommended that the Subgroup should undertake a visit to the airport.

 

Decision

 

The Subgroup;

 

1. Recommend that aviation emissions should be included in the setting of carbon budgets and work is required with Government and other UK airports to establish a plan for meeting this budget;

 

2. Recommend that officers explore the options for measures that can be introduced locally to help the UK stay within the required UK aviation carbon budget, for example the introduction of a frequent flyer levy; and

 

3. Recommend that a visit to the airport site be arranged for members of the Subgroup.

 

Supporting documents: