Burham presented the Manchester Spatial Framework
Andy Burnham after his election announced his ambitions for doing Greater Manchester a Green City. So, it needs to improve and protect the environment, green spaces and air quality. In 2018, they draft a plan to be carbon neutral by 2038 and they presented it at the Green Summit 2018. Tyndall Centre for Climate Research concluded Manchester needs to cut 15% of annual average on carbon emission for reaching this target. Now, they presented the Manchester Spatial Framework.
Andy Burham put Alex Ganotis as Green City Leader. Ganotis has to lead a bold project for doing Greater Manchester zero-emission carbon.
“We currently aim to reduce our carbon emissions by 48% by 2020 and are well on the way to achieving this. But this is not enough or fast enough to hit our Carbon Neutrality target. A big change is needed to scale up and deliver deep carbon cuts and to protect and improve green space across the city region.”
Mark Atherton, assistant director in Greater Manchester Environmental Team, says they have hit some achievements
“We have created the Greater Manchester Environment Fund to support their aims and produced a Natural Capital Investment Plan to promote investment”.
Keys for the environment
They have produced a retrofit report to assess how the current building stock can affordably be retrofit to cost-efficient standards.
Ganotis said: “Old buildings are more important than new ones. Over 80% of our current building will be still in use in 2050. We do a lot of funding. But we need to rump it up.”
In line with the buildings, another crucial issue is energy consumption. According to Atherton’s statement: “Energy Northwest will lead a workstream to assess how more future energy demand can be met from smart, renewable sources.”
Transport and traffic are clearly a huge key in the environment and the air quality around Greater Manchester. Furthermore, soon will be a new fee for the most polluting cars.
Ganotis: “What we need to address is the more polluting vehicles. And they are buses, lorries, taxis, private hire vehicles and vans”.
In order to deal with transport congestion, there will be an investment in doing the streets more suitable for bikes and pedestrians.
“It will transform cycling and walking in the city region by investing up to £50m per year for three years.”
Also, the plan bets for supporting electric vehicles.
“GMCA will establish a new public sector-led commercial model for the electric vehicles charging network.”
Although, GMCA had tried to reduce as much as possible the single-use plastics. Atherton sais they are still dealing with big retailers such as Tesco o Asda. For this, GMCA also delivered an effective environmental communication campaign to educate and raise awareness among ordinary people.
It might be not enough
In spite of all the efforts, some groups who think more effort is needed. Liz McKelvey from the environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion says it is not enough. It is needed to declare Climate Emergency.
“Although people make the right noises, it is in two year time they will make a plan. What about these two years? We know now what we need to do.”
Ganotis also said: “What we are not saying this is Combined Authority plan and the Combined Authority will deliver this. Because this will not works. There is a lot of this that we as Combined Authority should do but on our own, we cannot do it. This is something one takes part. Business and individuals too. They need to understand what their footprint is and what they can do.”
If you want to know more about GMCA authority plans click here.