Chorltonians Call On Council To Get Serious About CO2

6th November 2009
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Photographs of Cllrs Sheila Newman and Paul Ankers and MP John Leech, together with a number of Chorlton residents, are available on request or can be downloaded from: http://bit.ly/V2b63


Chorlton councillors Sheila Newman, Val Stevens and Paul Ankers, Chorlton Park councillors Norman Lewis and Bernie Ryan, and local MP John Leech this week joined the hundreds of local residents who are supporting Friends of the Earth’s call for Manchester City Council to get serious about cutting CO2. [1]

If the council took serious action to cut CO2, it would give Manchester a boost because insulating homes and fitting green energy technology would create up to 200 jobs [2] and slash fuel bills by over £8 million per year. [3]

The council has a big say over energy, housing and transport, which make up 80 per cent of Manchester’s emissions, and it is due to release its climate change strategy this month.

The latest science tells us that rich countries like the UK have to cut their emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020. Otherwise, climate change will make a billion of the poorest people in the world homeless – and people in the UK will be affected too by increased flooding and droughts, rising food prices and economic instability.

Friends of the Earth’s campaign, Get Serious About CO2 [5], is calling on Manchester City Council to commit to cutting CO2 in the local area by at least 40 per cent by 2020 – and produce an action plan detailing how it’s going to happen.

Chorlton resident and Manchester Friends of the Earth campaigner Ali Abbas said:

“We’re delighted that our local politicians have listened to their constituents and come out in support of our campaign for Manchester City Council to get serious about CO2. If the council takes serious action to cut carbon emissions, it will not only help tackle climate change but also create jobs for local people, slash our fuel bills, and make it easier for us to get around.”

Councillor Paul Ankers said:

“Unless we act quickly, climate change will leave billions of people around the world hungry and homeless, and people here in the UK will feel the effects of increased flooding, rising food prices and economic instability. Manchester City Council needs to do much more to help insulate our homes, generate green energy and improve public transport.”

Councillor Sheila Newman said:

“Manchester City Council has already shown climate change is one of our top priorities by signing up the 10:10 campaign. But the latest science shows we have to go further to keep the climate safe for our children, which is why I’m supporting Friends of the Earth’s call for a target of at least 40% by 2020.”

Councillor Val Stevens said:

“Manchester City Council is deeply committed to making Manchester both a green and a sustainable city, and I’m very happy to lend support to the campaign.”

John Leech MP said:

“I’m backing Friends of the Earth’s campaign because we need urgent action across the board to prevent dangerous climate change. As well as pressing Manchester City Council, I will also be calling on the Government to introduce local carbon budgets to make sure councils across the country get serious about CO2.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor

1) Photographs of Cllrs Sheila Newman and Paul Ankers and MP John Leech, together with a number of Chorlton residents, are available on request or can be downloaded from: http://bit.ly/V2b63

2) The figure of 200 potential jobs was calculated from a model developed by Carbon Descent based on how many man hours it would take to fit insulation and renewable energy in a local authority area, with each job to last for a period of 10 years. The figure was calculated from:

  • Estimates of the number of homes in Manchester with cavity walls but without cavity wall insulation (25,250); the number of homes without good loft insulation (65,870) and the potential number of combined heat and power schemes (66). This data was mainly obtained from the Energy Savings Trust Homes Energy Efficiency Database.
  • Data from Carbon Descent’s study on Middlesbrough about the extent of measures that would be necessary for the council to cut emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020. This data was extrapolated for the size of Manchester.

3) The data used to generate these figures is from the Energy Savings Trust’s Home Energy Efficiency Database – which includes the number of properties that have different standards of loft insulation, wall insulation, double glazing and the type of heating systems they use. The number properties that don’t have a high standard of insulation has then been multiplied by the financial saving each household would make on fuel bills if they were properly insulated. The estimate of cash saved also comes from the Energy Saving Trust.

Households
Saving per measure
Annual saving
Unfilled cavity walls
25,150
£100
£2,514,959
Single glazing
97,203
£35
£3,402,103
No loft insulation
19,398
£85
£1,648,824
Loft insulation < 150mm
94,638
£10
£946,384
Total
£8,512,269

4) Kirklees Council plans to offer free loft and cavity wall insulation to all of its 170,000 homes by 2010. Kirklees has funded this partly through central government’s CERT programme. The Government’s CERT scheme covers about 50 per cent of the cost of cavity wall and loft insulation. The rest of the cost is usually passed on to the householder. But in Kirklees, the council has made up the remaining costs themselves. The council has done this by borrowing against future council tax for the next 25 years. But a resident saves money over all – they pay £7 more in annual council tax but save around £200 every year on their fuel bill as a result of the extra insulation.

Friends of the Earth supports a policy that basic home energy efficiency measures – in particular loft and cavity wall insulation – should be offered at no cost to householders, as in Kirklees. To achieve the deep cuts in CO2 emissions we need to achieve, homes will need to have even more than these basic measures – for example they should also be fitted with technology to generate renewable energy. The cost of this treatment will be greater but should be rolled-out in a way gives no up-front costs to consumers, and be paid for out of the additional savings on energy bills that would result.

5) Friends of the Earth’s campaign, Get Serious About CO2, is calling on councils to commit to cutting carbon dioxide in the local area by at least 40 per cent by 2020 – and produce an action plan setting out how it’s going to happen. The campaign is also calling for a minimum level of action for all councils, set in line with the latest science, and for more money and less hassle so councils can get on with local action to cut CO2. www.getseriousaboutCO2.com

6) Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, part of a network of over 220 local Friends of the Earth groups. We raise awareness about environmental issues and lobby for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and our campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on our website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk.

7) Friends of the Earth believes the environment is for everyone. We want a healthy planet and a good quality of life for all those who live on it. We inspire people to act together for a thriving environment. We campaign on a range of issues including climate change, biodiversity, waste, transport and food. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk.