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Manchester goes green at Green Summit

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The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, together with local leaders, announced at today’s Green Summit that he wants Greater Manchester to become one of the leading green city regions in the UK and Europe. In three weeks’ time, another event, the LowCVP’s ‘Moving North’ Conference, will take this agenda forward by looking at the future of green transport in the Northern Powerhouse region, and the resulting opportunities for the automotive industry and other sectors; see more information below.

Andy Burnham wants to bring Greater Manchester’s date for achieving carbon neutrality forward by at least a decade to 2040. Climate change experts say this move is necessary if Greater Manchester is to meet Paris Agreement targets. The new commitment would be one of the UK and Europe’s most ambitious carbon neutrality targets.

To achieve this, the city-region is exploring radical proposals that include building zero carbon homes, an emissions-free bus fleet, doubling the provision of charging points for electric vehicles, a Greater Manchester energy company, and a plastic-free city-region campaign.

Initial investment in green technologies and policies would bring huge economic benefits and jobs to the region, said Mayor Andy Burnham. He said: “A carbon-neutral city-region needn’t be some far-off ambition, the reality is that we can’t afford to wait; climate change is happening now. A green future is there for the taking if we just take that first step to go for it. For Greater Manchester, today is that first big step.

“Greater Manchester has never been afraid to be a pioneer – and today’s Green Summit presents us with a fantastic opportunity to be bold in our ambitions and become a UK and European Leader.

“More local renewable energy is achievable, and is increasingly becoming cheaper and cleaner than carbon fuels. Although initial investment can be expensive, the long-term rewards and savings are huge. What we can’t afford are the long-term costs of carrying on as we are.

“Retrofitting our homes to make them more energy-efficient would help reduce carbon emissions and fuel bills; carrying out the work could also bring tens of thousands of jobs to the city-region within this sector alone.

“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 home-grown 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 Green Summit include:

  • Ambition for Greater Manchester to become carbon neutral at least a decade earlier than 2050 – using science-based targets to set the 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 the 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 Greater Manchester develops an 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.

The Green Summit brings local people, academics, climate change experts and business leaders together to put forward their commitments for delivering a greener, carbon-neutral Greater Manchester. The Green Summit event is being livestreamed on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority website, and online audience participation has been promised to give everyone a chance to have a say and get involved:

Moving North Conference

Another event will follow on from the Green Summit in three weeks’ time: the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership’s (LowCVP) 2018 ‘Moving North’ Conference, opening with a keynote address by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, will focus on the challenge of cutting carbon emissions and air pollution, and seizing the business opportunities for automotive and fuel supply companies in the Northern Powerhouse.

The event, on Thursday 12 April 2018, is being held in association with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, the Northern Automotive Alliance (NAA) and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). It is supported by Manchester Metropolitan University and sponsored by GEFCO and Uber.

The conference features a range of high profile speakers including:

  • Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
  • Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
  • Ian Constance, Chief Executive, Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)
  • Lawrence Davies MBE, Chief Executive, Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO)
  • Jon Lamonte, Chief Executive, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)
  • Andy Eastlake, Managing Director, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP)
  • Carol Holden OBE, Chief Executive, Northern Automotive Alliance (NAA)
  • Jon King, Business Development Consultant, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)
  • Dave Roberts, Director, Smart Interventions, EA Technology.

‘Moving North’ will look at the future of transport in the Northern Powerhouse region (and beyond) – a future that will be driven by ever-tighter regulation of carbon dioxide emissions and pollutants which damage air quality – and the resulting opportunities for businesses in the automotive, fuels and related sectors.

The event, and the drinks reception which follows the conference, will also be an important networking opportunity, as it will bring together a number of different sectors, including the automotive and energy industries, governmental/public sector organisations, ‘new mobility’ companies and other stakeholders.

Moving North is a ticketed event, which is free to members of the LowCVP. There is a 25% discount for members of the Northern Automotive Alliance. Non-members are invited at the standard price of £100.

There are also some indoor exhibition spaces, a small number of outside spaces for vehicles, and a very limited number of sponsorship opportunities.

For more information visit