Manchester's green target given local boost with ward climate change action plans

Manchester’s target of becoming a zero carbon city by 2038 has been given a local boost with the publication by the Council of Ward Climate Change Action Plans.

The action plans, which provide a framework for local actions within each of Manchester’s 32 wards, have been published ahead of a meeting of the Environment, Climate Change & Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee on the 7th December 2023.

The seven themes included in each ward plan, with shared aims and targets across the city, are nature and biodiversity, young people, transport, sustainable consumption, food, housing and community engagement.

These have been developed to align with the priorities in MCC’s Climate Change Action Plan 2020-2025, which guides reductions in the Council’s direct emissions, and the citywide Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-2025.

Within each plan is an additional focus on communication, learning and action to support and encourage residents, businesses, groups and individuals to act alongside the council to reduce their environmental impact at a local level.

The plans are designed to enhance and protect existing green spaces and promote nature-based solutions. They also outline ways in which to support young people take leading roles in climate change projects.

As emissions from transport contribute a quarter of Manchester’s carbon emissions, the ward plans have been developed to encourage active travel- such as walking and cycling –for shorter journeys. They are also designed to promote sustainable consumption by helping residents reduce, reuse and recycle and are structured to support the reduction of food waste and the consumption of more environmentally friendly food.

The action plans also encourage and support residents to make their homes more sustainable, such as through retrofit and insulation, whilst helping to save on energy bills. The plans also outline a commitment for MCC Neighbourhood Teams to engage with residents to raise climate awareness and increase capacity at the local level.

Crucially, the action plans contain a target for the Council to fund a minimum of one community-led, climate change focused Neighbourhood Investment Fund (NIF) project in every ward each year.

NIF provides local communities with funding to make their neighbourhoods better places to live, with £20,000 available for each ward. More information on NIF, including on how to apply, can be found here: Apply for a neighbourhood investment fund | Neighbourhood investment funds | Manchester City Council

Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We have a challenging target for Manchester to be a zero carbon city by 2038 at the latest, 12 years ahead of the UK as a whole. But we’ll only get there if everyone in the city plays their part.

“To help achieve this city-wide ambition, each of Manchester’s 32 wards now has its own climate action plan. These will not only build community resilience against climate change, but also ensure that local and city-wide action complement each other as we work towards our common goal of becoming a zero carbon city.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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