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Our Green Summit Response: Do More, Faster!

25th March 2019

Our response to the GMCA 5 Year Environment Plan, which was launched at the 2019 Green Summit.

We’re facing a climate emergency.  

The science tells us how much carbon we can afford to emit to keep the climate safe.  We need to live within this carbon budget.

But the GMCA 5 Year Plan fails to deliver, using up the budget twice over.  

We have to do more, faster.  We therefore call on Andy Burnham and the 10 council leaders to:

In 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).
  • Call on the Government to:
    • Make carbon reduction a statutory duty for local authorities and provide the powers and funding to deliver rapid action.
    • Accelerate grid decarbonisation by rapidly scaling up the deployment of renewable power.
    • Introduce an immediate ban on coal and unconventional oil and gas extraction (including fracking and coal bed methane), and end all direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuel extraction
    • Reintroduce a zero carbon new build standard, and make retrofit of existing buildings an infrastructure investment priority.
    • Bring forward the date for phasing out the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 to 2030, and introduce a scrappage scheme for the most polluting vehicles.
    • Scrap HS2 and the national road-building programme, and invest instead in walking, cycling, buses, trams and local rail services.
    • Announce an immediate moratorium on airport expansion, update aviation policy in line with the Tyndall Centre carbon budget, and introduce a Frequent Flyer Levy.

In the next 6 months:

  • In each local authority area:
    • Run a series of Carbon Literacy workshops to inform and inspire people to act on climate change, starting with all councillors and council staff
    • Collaborate with the public sector, businesses and community members (making particular effort to involve women and BAME communities) to develop local action plans
  • Set up a Climate Emergency Grant Fund and provide initial funding to give communities the financial support they need to deliver their local action plan.
  • Accelerate delivery of high-quality walking and cycling infrastructure across the region.

In the next 12 months:

  • Re-regulate our buses to deliver a cleaner, simpler, more frequent and affordable bus network.
  • Implement a low-carbon Clean Air Zone as soon as possible, which covers all types of polluting vehicles including private cars.
  • Set a cap on flight emissions at Manchester Airport, supported by the introduction of a Climate Emergency Levy for departing passengers to contribute to the Climate Emergency Grant Fund.
  • Set up a Climate Emergency Capital Fund, funded by investments from the public, businesses and the GM Pension Fund, to finance a GM-wide programme of retrofit, renewables and energy efficiency measures.
  • Work with employers and education partners to deliver a Climate Emergency Skills Programme to enable the rapid roll-out of retrofit, renewables and energy efficiency measures.

This response has been drawn up by the Greater Manchester Climate Action Network (GM-CAN), a coalition of local climate activist groups including 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.

Let us know your views by tweeting us @GMCAN3 or emailing GM-CAN.  

If you or your organisation would like to endorse this response, visit: bit.ly/gmcan-endorse