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How can Manchester deliver the five year environment plan?

Greater Manchester has agreed on a target of 2038 to become carbon neutral. This article discusses how that can be achieved.
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One size can’t fit all

Existing regional economic imbalances and the composition of local economies will require different approaches to promote clean growth.

For example, manufacturing represents about 15 per cent of the local economy in the Midlands and the North, while it’s less than 10 per cent in the South East and only two per cent in London.

A focus on better use of energy

Therefore, a focus on better use of energy and materials in manufacturing, combined with the deployment of low carbon technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, is likely to be a priority for regions outside the southeast to cut emissions and improve the sector’s performance (which would also help tackle the UK’s productivity gap).

Local opportunities for growth

Furthermore, differences in local infrastructure needs and plans, including housing, transport and energy, might provide local opportunities for growth in specific low carbon industries.

For example, the need to improve housing energy efficiency and projected housing growth could drive local growth in low carbon construction in places where there is high demand.

Alternatively, congestion and air quality challenges in urban centres could incentivise the development of low carbon, integrated transport services.

Developing local knowledge and capacity

Some areas are already starting to act. The first wave of Local Industrial Strategies has set out policies to promote inclusive, low carbon growth such as the one in Greater Manchester.

Other areas of the country will be developing theirs to support the transition.

In order to ensure decarbonisation happens at the pace and scale needed, however, it will be critical for local government to use their full set of powers to boost low carbon industries and resource efficiency across local economies.

Local industry strategies

Local industrial strategies will have to support this and be complemented by policy on housing, planning, air quality and transport to ensure that businesses are incentivised to invest in low carbon solutions and to maximise benefits to local communities in terms of high-quality jobs, cleaner air and more liveable places.

Limited resources and powers

Developing local knowledge and capacity on clean growth and options for delivery will be essential, particularly beyond the Greater Manchester Combined Authority areas where change will have to be delivered with more limited resources and powers.

Here, Mark Atherton – Director of Environment for Greater Manchester Combined Authority, describes the mission-based approach they are taking in delivering the five-year environment plan.

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The Challenge of Clean Growth and Clean Cities

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