Imagine that - kicking off a blog posting with a headline that references percentages, targets and an admin process for signing off a strategy; stay awake at the back there!
It's pretty fundamental this one; Britain's second city (Greater Manchester to you and I) has signed off a climate change strategy that sets a pretty ambitious target of 48% carbon reductions by 2020 against a baseline level of 1990.
It doesn't stop there. The strategy covers all the bases, including mitigation, adaptation, green jobs and the need for a cultural shift (low carbon hegemony anyone?). The other cheeky bit lurking under the tarpaulin is an emerging measure for the thrillingly entitled 'Scope 3' emissions. To anyone who doesn't doze off at night with a copy of 'advanced carbon footprinting' clutched to their bosom, these are the emissions that we usually try and ignore: the stuff we buy, the flights we take, the food we eat.
|Here's the first glimpse of our 'consumption-based' carbon footprint|
The strategy as presented to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority can be downloaded from here. It's still in a stripped down, word-processed, no-frills format, but is well worth having a gander at. The headlines, in essence, are:
- A rapid transition to a low carbon economy
- Collective carbon emissions reduced by 48%
- Be prepared for and actively adapting to a rapidly changing climate
- ‘Carbon literacy’ will have become embedded into the culture of organisations, lifestyles and behaviours
There's some progress already, with a number of low carbon buildings, a domestic retrofit programme, emerging heat network plans, a green deal project and the introduction of an electric car charging scheme already well underway, but it's only the start.
The other issue for me is that it is a solid step towards getting all ten Greater Manchester authorities onto the same track on climate change. I chair the steering group for Manchester's own plan - 'A Certain Future' - and I know that we could achieve so much more if we all worked together, better, to cut carbon and adapt for the changes that lie ahead.