Climate Change Action Plan Annual Report 2020-21 and Work Programme 2021-22
- Meeting of Environment and Climate Change Scrutiny Committee, Thursday, 9th September, 2021 10.00 am (Item 15.)
Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer
The Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019 and developed a Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) 2020-25, which was approved by Executive in March 2020. This report provides an update on the progress that has been made in delivering the Action Plan during the first year (CCAP Annual Report 2020-21) and the work programme for the second year of the Action Plan (CCAP Work Programme 2021-22).
The Committee considered a joint report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer that provided an update on the progress that had been made in delivering the Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) during the first full financial year (CCAP Annual Report 2020-21) and the work programme for the second financial year of the Action Plan (CCAP Work Programme 2021-22).
Key points and themes in the report included:
· A five-year CCAP covering 2020-25 was approved at Executive in March 2020;
· Updates had been considered by Strategic Management Team and the former Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee throughout the CCAP’s first year, with a detailed progress report considered in February 2021;
· This Annual Report brought together the CCAP updates provided over the last 12 months, a full year of CO2 emissions data and highlighted the progress which had been made during this time;
· Overall, the Council’s direct emissions had reduced by 21% (-6,783 tonnes CO2) compared to 2019-20 and against an annual target to reduce emissions by 13%. For 2021-22, the Council’s carbon budget was 27,056 tonnes CO2, 13% lower than for 2020-21;
· The Work Programme for 2021-22, outlined the key CCAP actions, or critical milestones within complex CCAP actions spanning multiple years, which were to be delivered during this period and these were listed under the five themes (Buildings & Energy, Transport & Travel, Reducing consumption based emissions, Climate adaptation, and Catalysing change); and
· The work programme took account of a small number of actions that were delayed last year due to the pandemic and incorporated milestones for new projects, such as the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the ‘In Our Nature’ communities programme. None of these projects had featured in the original CCAP 2020-25.
The Committee was invited to comment on the report prior to it being considered by Executive.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· The need to reiterate the urgency and immediacy of the climate emergency;
· Questioning that if we accepted that climate change was such an important and immediate issue why were some targets listed as still ‘to be confirmed’ in relation to projected CO2 emissions reductions;
· An update was sought on the Local Authority Green Homes Grant;
· Questioning the capacity and ability of the Manchester Climate Change Agency (MCCA) to lead and deliver on such an important issue for the city;
· Commenting that the Council contained the capacity and leadership to deliver the ambitions of the MCCA;
· More information was sought on the task-and-finish sub-group that had been convened to ensure the new organisational and governance structures of the MCCA were fit for purpose;
· Noting that the Council’s own emissions had reduced more than the minimum target and that it was important to continue on this trajectory and all levers should be used to influence partners and organisations across the city to address their own carbon emissions;
· More needed to be done to improve and deliver green public transport; active travel and measures to address the emissions from domestic properties across all tenures;
· Consideration needed to be given to creating a local bank/bond scheme to support green investments;
· An explanation was sought as to the reported spike in emissions in 2015 attributed to Biffa;
· An update on the sustainable travel policy for Officers and Members was requested;
· An update on the activities to address emissions associated with aviation was requested;
· More information was requested on the Manchester Food Board;
· Would Manchester be represented at COP26, the international meeting to discuss global action on climate change;
· Could the Civic Quarter Heat Network supply domestic properties; and
· How were the emissions generated from Northwards properties accounted for now that these had been brought back in house.
The Strategic Lead - Policy and Partnerships informed Members that the spike in emissions attributed to Biffa in 2015 was as a result of the change in the contract at that time which moved street sweeper vehicles from the Council’s fleet to Biffa and was mirrored by a decrease in emissions in MCC’s operational fleet at the same time. He further commented that the impact of the new electric refuse collection vehicles within the fleet were yet to be realised but would be captured and reported.
The Strategic Lead - Policy and Partnerships noted the comment from the Committee regarding the need to continue with the trajectory of reducing the Council’s emissions. He said this was understood and in response to the question regarding the targets that were listed as ‘to be confirmed’, he stated that this only applied to those projects where CO2 savings could not currently be quantified. He further confirmed that the sustainable travel policy for Officers and Members was still being progressed and updates would be provided at the appropriate time. In response to the question regarding aviation emissions he advised that the Committee would be receiving a substantive report on this item at the December meeting.
The Strategic Lead - Policy and Partnerships acknowledged the challenge and scale of retrofitting domestic properties, however modelling work had been undertaken across Greater Manchester (GM) and that evidence would inform the submission to central government as part of the Spending Review Submission. He further acknowledged the suggestion regarding the bond scheme and stated this would be taken away for consideration.
The Strategic Lead - Policy and Partnerships stated that the Climate Change Action Plan was designed to be clear and transparent, and he assured Members that the Zero Carbon Co-ordination Group met monthly to review the plan. He added that this would include discussions on the best way of reporting emissions from Northwards and their properties. He stated that it was important to have a pipeline of projects scheduled to continue to deliver the reduction in emissions. With reference to the question related to the Civic Quarter Heat Network he confirmed that this was not available to domestic properties, however the Zero Carbon Manager advised that work was underway at a GM level to consider the options to address domestic energy supply, adding that currently the production and supply of hydrogen is not sufficient to support large scale adoption of hydrogen boilers Nfor domestic properties. In response to the discussion on the provision of energy she suggested that a report on the Local Energy Area Plan developed by the Energy Systems Catapult could be provided to the Committee for consideration at a future meeting.
The Strategic Lead - Policy and Partnerships stated that Manchester was working in collaboration with the other Core Cities to ensure there was a presence at COP26. He advised that a piece of work was underway to better articulate and communicate the Council’s actions on climate change and that this would be included in the Council’s website ahead of COP26.
The Executive Member for Environment referred to the Green Homes Grant and noted that lessons would be learnt to improve the take up rate of any future grant schemes. She said that a strategy would be developed with the Communications Team to ensure the correct message were directed at residents to maximise the take up.
The Executive Member for Environment stated that ongoing impact of austerity and budget cuts and the subsequent impact on Council staff numbers meant that the Council did not have the capacity to deliver the work and ambitions of the MCCA. She stated that the benefits of a partnership model was demonstrated by the bringing together of a wealth of knowledge and resources across the city.
The Chair informed the Committee that a report on Food Sustainability would be scheduled for the Committee’s January 2022 meeting and this would include information on the Manchester Food Board.
1. Endorse the recommendation that the Executive note the contents of the report, the progress that has been made in delivering the Action Plan during the first year (CCAP Annual Report 2020-21) and the work programme for the second year of the Action Plan (CCAP Work Programme 2021-22).
2. Agree that the Chair convenes a meeting with the Executive Member for Environment to discuss the concerns raised by Members regarding the Manchester Climate Change Agency.
3. Recommend that a report on the options to be considered relating to the provision of energy for domestic properties is included on the Committee’s Work Programme.
- CCAP Annual Report 2020-21 Work Programme 2021-22, item 15. PDF 243 KB
- Appendix 1 - CCAP Annual Report 2020-21, item 15. PDF 3 MB
- Appendix 2 - CCAP Work Programme 2021-22, item 15. PDF 91 KB