Our Green Summit Response: Do More, Faster!
At the Mayor’s Green Summit on 25 March 2019, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority launched their 5 Year Environment Plan (available to download here).
This response to the plan 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
- Greater Manchester SERA.
Our response to the GMCA 5 Year Environment Plan
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.