“All businesses need to become green businesses, and the quicker we make this change, the bigger our economic and environmental advantage. And by bringing together this burgeoning green industry with a robust work and skills programme through our schools and universities, we can develop a homegrown skilled workforce that’s ready and able to meet the demands of today, and tomorrow.
“The sooner we start making these changes and take that leap, the sooner we can start to see the rewards – cheaper running costs for our transport fleets, a healthier population, and a thriving green economy on our doorstep. Greater Manchester is going to lead the way for others as we move towards a cleaner, greener future.”
The current target is for Greater Manchester to reduce emissions by 80-90% by 2050 (from 1990), in line with the UK’s target, but local leaders, including the Mayor, want to bring that target closer by at least a decade to mitigate climate change and capitalise on the economic opportunities presented by the renewable energy industry.
Key proposals on the table at the summit include:
- Ambition for Greater Manchester to become carbon neutral at least a decade earlier than 2050 – using science-based targets to set our ambition and pathway.
- Public sector agencies to consider vacating premises that do not meet minimum energy performance standards.
- Move to an emissions-free bus fleet and, if possible, speed up the process using new bus powers available to Mayors.
- Establish a new public-sector-led commercial model for the Greater Manchester electric vehicle charging network this year, and double the size of the present system.
- Transform cycling and walking in the city-region by investing up to £50m per year for three years from 2019/20, supporting Chris Boardman’s groundbreaking ‘Made to Move’ report.
- Use the rewritten Greater Manchester Spatial Framework to specify a date by which all new homes built across Greater Manchester should be net zero carbon.
- Explore the creation of a Greater Manchester Environment Fund, funded by public and private investment, to support our environment strategy and carbon-neutral ambitions.
- Develop, this year, a Greater Manchester Infrastructure Strategy to include energy, digital, transport, waste, waste water and natural environment infrastructure.
- Work with central government to deliver those things that require national action – for example decarbonising the national grid and transport infrastructure.
- Consider how we develop a Greater Manchester energy company that is able to invest in energy generation and storage to generate revenue for investing in the Greater Manchester Environment Fund.
- Examine the affordability of retrofitting existing homes to make them more energy efficient, leading to the creation of a potential 55,000 jobs.