Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

Climate Change

Report of The Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer

 

The Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25 is scheduled for publication on 28 February 2020. The City Council will be asked to formally adopt the target and endorse the framework on behalf of the City during March 2020.  The City Council has also committed to producing its own Action Plan during March 2020.

 

This report provides the Committee with a series of documents that provide an update on progress to develop the city-wide and Council plans.

 

Appended to this report are:

 

1.    An outline of the draft city-wide Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25, progress update on Manchester Climate Change Partnership Action Plans and Tyndall Centre review of targets; and

 

2.    The draft Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer that provided an update on progress to develop the city-wide and Council plans to address climate change, noting that the Manchester Climate Change Partnership and Agency had developed information to support organisations in Manchester to play their full part in achieving the commitment for the city as a whole to adopt a carbon budget of 15 million tonnes of CO2 between 2018 and 2100.  This would require a year-on-year reduction of at least 13%, emissions to be halved within five years, and lead to the city becoming zero carbon by 2038 at the latest. 

 

The Committee received a progress update on the development of the city-wide Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25, and Tyndall Centre review of targets and the draft Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 for consideration and comment.

 

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

 

·         Concern was expressed about the Council’s scrutiny process for agreeing the proposed targets and agreeing an action plan for the City Council, in particular given the commitment to an open and transparent process. Clarification was sought as to the decision making process and the level of scrutiny;

·         Reiterating the need for immediate action to reduce the city’s CO2 emissions;

·         What additional resources had been allocated to support this activity following the declaration of the Climate Emergency motion;

·         What contingency plans were in place to mitigate the withdrawal of European funding;

·         How did Manchester compare to other cities, both nationally and internationally in its response to climate change;

·         Members and residents needed to be confident that the Council was responding to the issue of climate change and taking all of the actions available to it;

·         Information on what the Council had been doing to address climate change needed to be reported so progress could be measured against this;

·         Concern was expressed regarding the extraction of chemicals used in LED lighting and batteries and enquired if this was ethically sourced;

·         The Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 needed to measure carbon reduction in tonnes so as to align with the decision to adopt a carbon budget and to assist with the monitoring of progress;

·         A more ambitious plan for the planting of trees needed to be implemented;

·         Emissions from the aviation industry needed to be addressed;

·         Planning policy should be used to promote more sustainable journeys to and from the airport; and

·         The importance of engaging with young people on the issue of climate change, including using faith and other community based groups.

 

The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport responded to the question regarding the decision making process. She informed the Members that the Executive would be invited to formally adopt the science-based targets in line with the Paris Agreement and endorse the Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25 framework on behalf of the City and approve the Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 at their meeting of 11 March 2020.

 

Members recommended that the Committee have an opportunity to scrutinise the reports that were to be considered by the Executive at their March meeting and any comments and formal recommendations that arose were to be forwarded to the Executive for consideration.

 

Dr Jones, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research informed the Members that they had reported their findings to the Climate Change Subgroup in January and that based on current scientific analysis the draft recommendations and key points in regard to direct emissions were for Manchester to retain the existing 15 MtCO2 carbon budget; to 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; noting that delays in achieving the 13% per annum reductions would require higher reduction rates in subsequent years; noting that in relation to a date to become zero carbon, this was 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 would change if the 13% average annual reduction target was not met; and that in relation to the potential 2030 zero carbon date, insufficient detail had been provided to enable Tyndall to analyse whether or not this was in line with the latest science.

 

Mr Sadler, Programme Director, Manchester Climate Change Agency stated that the draft city-wide Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25 set out how the city as a whole needed to play its full part in tackling climate change, to ensure that Manchester stayed within its carbon budget of 15 MtCO2. He described that this strategy had been informed by the current science on climate change. He stated that this overarching strategy for the city would have bespoke action plans sat beneath them for different organisations and sectors. He stated that whilst the need to respond to climate change was recognised by partner organisations, and a range of plans and actions had been implemented, the challenge now for the city was to significantly scale up this activity over the next five years. He stated that he welcomed the opportunity to hear the comments and feedback from Members on how the Agency could best work with the Committee and Members on climate change.

 

Mr Sadler, Programme Director, Manchester Climate Change Agency informed the Members that Manchester was represented at the Core Cities Network and European Networks, and would continue to do so. He described that this provided an opportunity to influence and learn from other cities on this important issue. Dr Jones, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research stated that Manchester was pioneering in regard to adopting a carbon budget for the city and other cities they were working with were looking to adopt a similar model. In regard to the issue of emissions from the aviation industry he stated that the current work being undertaken by the Tyndall Centre would develop recommendations on next steps, and likely to identify the next stage of work needed. 

 

Mr Sadler, Programme Director, Manchester Climate Change Agency acknowledged the comment regarding the importance of engaging with young people on the issue of climate change and he made reference to the success of the Youth Climate Action Summit that had taken place 17 January 2020. He informed Members that the Manchester Climate Change Youth Board were seeking to appoint a Youth Climate Action Champion and the Manchester Climate Change Partnership were seeking to appoint a schools’ representative to join the Partnership.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer acknowledged the comment on the need for urgent action on this issue. She stated that a significant amount of work had already been implemented, including the delivery of the Civic Quarter Heat Network project and embedding low carbon and energy efficiency measures within the Council's annual maintenance programme and general estates management. In regard to funding, she described that climate change considerations were embedded into decisions and practices across the Council. She described that the Capital Strategy would focus more on prioritising investment in areas that would support delivery of the zero carbon ambitions.  She said that the Council would continue to seek and lobby for additional external funding in order to escalate this activity, and to work with its partner organisations to assist with this work. She stated that consideration would be given as to how this activity could be reported.

 

In response to the question regarding the extraction of chemicals used in the production of LED lighting and batteries, the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer stated that a briefing note would be circulated to Members of the Committee following the meeting.

 

The Strategic Lead Policy and Partnerships informed the Committee that Neighbourhoods Directorate were leading on the issue of climate change at a neighbourhood level for the Council, and Neighbourhood Team Officers underwent carbon literacy training during November and December 2019 and that the programme of training would continue to be rolled out, with 800 staff currently trained.

 

The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport stated that the government had failed to recognise or adequately understand the issue of climate change which was evidenced through the lack of appropriate funding and powers provided to local authorities to address this issue.  She said the despite this, the Council recognising the importance of the issue and was committed to working in partnership and collaboratively with local partners to respond to the issue of climate change. She reiterated the importance of delivering improvements in emissions over the next five years. She further commented that everybody had responsibility to respond to the climate emergency.  

 

Decisions

 

The Committee: -

 

1. Note the reports and thanked the representatives from the Manchester Climate Change Agency and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research for attending the meeting.

 

2. Recommend that the Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 be amended to report targets in metrics of tonnes CO2 to align with the decision to adopt a science based carbon budget and assist with measuring progress against this budget.

 

3. Recommend that the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport produce quarterly progress reports to report progress against the carbon budget target.

 

Supporting documents: