News release: Green Summit: GM Mayor and council leaders urged to “do more, faster”

28th March 2019
news
release

News release from the Greater Manchester Climate Action Network (GM-CAN)

At today’s Green Summit, Greater Manchester Climate Action Network (GM-CAN) members will call on Mayor Andy Burnham and the 10 Greater Manchester council leaders to declare a climate emergency and take bolder actions to tackle our climate-wrecking emissions more rapidly. [1]

Ali Abbas from Manchester Friends of the Earth said:

“We applaud our Mayor and council leaders for setting a science-based budget for how much carbon we can afford to emit. 

“But the 5-Year Environment Plan blows the budget twice over, putting us on a path to climate chaos.

“To keep the climate safe for our families and for future generations, we need politicians and business leaders to do more, faster.” 

Mark Burton from Steady State Manchester said:

“To stay within our carbon budget, we need to halve carbon emissions in the next 5 years.

“But the plan fails to take decisive action, covering its timidity with vagueness. We expect more.”

Maggie Walker from Fossil Free Greater Manchester said:

“This year we’ve already seen our moors on fire, summer temperatures in February and devastating floods caused by cyclones in Mozambique and the American Midwest.

“It’s totally unacceptable that our local pension fund is still investing billions in coal, oil and gas companies when climate change is already happening.

“If our leaders are serious about this, they should tell the GM Pension Fund to move out of the dirty fossil fuels of the past and invest instead in the clean renewable energy of the future.”

Lizzy Haughton from Extinction Rebellion Manchester said:

“Thousands of young people across the country have led the recent climate strikes because politicians have failed to take this issue seriously.

“We call on Andy Burnham and the council leaders to declare a climate emergency and do whatever it takes to stop climate breakdown. Our futures depend on it.”

The Green Summit, being held at the Lowry in Salford, will be presented with the 5 Year Environment Plan that sets out how Greater Manchester will start to reduce climate change emissions to meet the target of becoming ‘carbon-neutral’ by 2038. [2]

The Greater Manchester carbon budget was produced by the University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre and is a science-based calculation of how much carbon dioxide we can afford to emit in Greater Manchester to be consistent with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. [3]

The Greater Manchester Climate Action Network (GM-CAN) believes that the draft 5-Year Environment Plan fails to deliver as it will use up our ‘carbon budget’ twice over.  

Greater Manchester needs to do more, and do it faster.  To stay within the carbon budget, rapid, deep emissions reductions of 15% per year are needed, which means halving carbon emissions over the five years of the plan.

The Greater Manchester Climate Action Network is calling on Andy Burnham and the 10 council leaders to take bolder action. Including within the next 3 months:

* Declare a Climate Emergency and appoint a Climate Emergency Commissioner with the responsibility and resources to deliver rapid carbon reductions.

* Accelerate the actions in the 5-year plan to deliver in line with the Tyndall carbon budget, and act now to deliver a 15% reduction this year.

* Instruct the GM Pension Fund to sell all holdings in companies involved in the exploration, extraction, refining and distribution of fossil fuels within 2 years, starting with the most polluting (coal, tar sands and fracking).

The Greater Manchester Climate Action Network (GM-CAN) is also calling for urgent action from the UK Government to help Greater Manchester to meet its targets, including an end to fossil fuel extraction, faster action to phase out polluting cars, and scrapping plans for HS2, road-building and airport expansion.

The full text of the Greater Manchester Climate Action Network (GM-CAN) response to the draft 5 Year Environment Plan is available online [4]

ENDS

Contact for Comments:   Ali Abbas, Manchester Friends of the Earth, 07786 090520 Email: gmclimateactionnetwork@gmail.com

Notes for Editors:
1) The Greater Manchester Climate Action Network (GM-CAN), is a coalition of local climate activist groups: Manchester Friends of the Earth, Fossil Free Greater Manchester, Frack Free Greater Manchester, Extinction Rebellion Manchester, Steady State Manchester, GM Campaign Against Climate Change, Fridays for the Future Manchester and Greater Manchester SERA.

2) The draft Greater Manchester 5 Year Environment Plan will be presented at Mayor Andy Burnham’s Green Summit, on Monday 25th March at the Lowry Centre.  An executive summary of the plan and a livestream of the event are available.

A draft of the full 5 Year Environment Plan is available to download.

3) Last year, the University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre worked with the GM Combined Authority to produce a  science-based carbon budget for Greater Manchester that is consistent with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.  It sets out the amount of greenhouse gases that is Greater Manchester’s fair share of the total amount that can be emitted globally to have a two thirds chance of keeping within 2 degrees of average warming above pre-industrial levels. 

The Tyndall budget does not include technologies for taking carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere, which have not been proven as feasible at the scale required. The budget includes direct emissions from buildings, industry and transport in the city region, but does not include emissions embodied in consumer goods nor our share of emissions from international aviation and shipping (although these are included at national level).

[4] Download available.