Climate and Energy
We are currently working as part of the Fossil Free Greater Manchester coalition to urge the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to sell its investments in fossil fuel companies, which amount to over £2 billion, and invest instead in positive solutions to climate change such as renewable energy and housing retrofit.
We continue to support the Frack Free Greater Manchester campaign, which has successfully persuaded Manchester, Salford and Trafford councils to pass motions against fracking, and aims to get other local councils to follow suit. As well as supporting the community fighting fracking in Lancashire, we will also oppose any future applications for fracking, coal bed methane or other unconventional fossil fuel extraction in and around Greater Manchester. For more info, see www.foe.co.uk/fracking.
We also support renewable energy schemes – in particular community-led projects to install solar panels on schools and public buildings, or to set up hydroelectric schemes. See www.gmcr.org.uk to find out more about a current volunteer-led solar power project funded via a community share issue.
Contact Ali [at] manchesterfoe.org.uk
Transport and Air Quality
One of our main campaign areas is Love Your Bike. This is a positive campaign that aims to get more people cycling more often. Our initiatives, such as the Pocket Guide to Cycling and Bike Friday, help to inform people about the benefits of cycling and give them the confidence to take it up as a regular means of getting around. We campaign to improve our cycling infrastructure such as the recent improvements to the Oxford Road corridor.
We are also interested in helping Greater Manchester to get the quality integrated public transport system it deserves, and we respond to public consultations such as those conducted by Transport for Greater Manchester and the local authorities.r’s public consultations.
Finally, we are running a healthy air campaign an Air Quality campaign to reduce the health impacts of air pollution. Working with schools and responding to local consultations to help improve the quality of air in Greater Manchester
Contacts: Graeme (graeme [at] manchesterfoe.org.uk) and Pete (pete [at] manchesterfoe.org.uk)
We are continuing to support Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign (www.foe.co.uk/bees). We also support local groups and individuals who want to create ‘Bee Worlds’ – patches of bee-friendly wildflowers and bee hotels. As part of this campaign we have also been encouraging people to buy local ‘ pesticide – free’ rape-seed oil to raise awareness of the devastating impact of pesticides on bees. The group have also been hosting litter picks and are starting to work with other groups to improve awareness of biodiversity in Greater Manchester.
Contacts: Cat (cat a[at] manchesterfoe.org.uk) and Damian (damian [at] manchesterfoe.org.uk)
Waste and Resources
We are teaming up with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on their Plastic Free GM campaign. The aim of this campaign is to reduce plastic waste in the hospitality industry across Greater Manchester.
We researched the best eco-friendly materials, in relation to the ones with the lowest carbon-emissions at different price points, so the businesses could be fully informed and in a better position to change their packaging.
Our plans are now to visit businesses, encouraging them to make the switch. In recognition of their changes they will be rated as green, amber or red and be able to display this to the public. This also helps customers know what restaurants, bars and takeaways are more proactive in trying to reduce their impact on our environment, and therefore more deserving of their money. We will be regularly updating our resources on what materials are less carbon heavy so that we remain reliable advisors to businesses and customers.
Contact seb [at] manchesterfoe.org.uk
We have previously campaigned on food waste, including ‘Taste before beauty’, asking supermarkets to stop wasting food because of cosmetic imperfections. We took part in ‘Feeding the 5000’, feeding the public with food that would otherwise have been wasted, as well as ‘Use Your Loaf’ to minimise the environmental impact of bread. We are also updating our Real Food Guide, an online guide to environmentally friendly food outlets. Let us know if there are any places you think we’ve missed out! If you would like to start a new food campaign, contact Cat (cat [at] manchesterfoe.org.uk).