Plan launched to become one of the globe’s healthiest, cleanest and greenest city-regions
HUNDREDS of residents, businesses and community groups – including 300 young people, from schools across Greater Manchester – will join together to launch the region’s environmental plan today (March 25).
Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, will use his speech at the summit to respond to calls from young people in the region - and across the globe - to take urgent action on climate change. The city region’s bold ambition is to be carbon-neutral by 2038, 12 years’ ahead of the Government’s own target.
Greater Manchester’s second Green Summit takes place at The Lowry Theatre, in Salford Quays. Around 1,800 people are expected to attend, with tickets sold out well in advance. People who live, work, visit and invest in the city region will all be represented. Thousands more are expected to get involved during the day on social media and via the BBC online.
The Mayor will set out how devolution can speed up the urgent action needed to be taken on climate change. While the old Westminster system is creaking under the strain of Brexit, public bodies, businesses and communities across Greater Manchester are pulling together to keep the city region moving forward. As Greater Manchester’s Local Industrial Strategy continues to be developed, the Mayor will call for the Government to invest in the region’s long-term Environment Plan.
The Paris-aligned, science based, plan sets out how Greater Manchester will become one of the globe’s healthiest, cleanest and greenest city-regions. The radical Environment Plan follows extensive engagement, including last year’s first Green Summit. The Mayor will highlight not only the environmental necessity, but the economic opportunities for everyone in acting now. This includes:
Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Young people across Greater Manchester and the rest of the globe have stood up and called for politicians to take urgent action on climate change. I want to say today we are listening. I’m the determined that we invest in young people and give you all hope for the future. Greater Manchester wants to be carbon neutral by 2038. Our plan is the UK’s first science based commitment for a city-region like ours, and one of the first of its kind globally.
“We have a science-based deadline and a deliverable plan putting us on a path towards it. Achieving our ambition will be very challenging, but it is the right thing to do. We believe this sets us apart from other UK city-regions and puts us at the top table globally. The big challenge is how we use the need to take fossil fuel out of our lives and economy to transform Greater Manchester so it works for everyone. That’s the challenge I have set myself as Mayor, and it’s the challenge that I am setting today.
“Cities and city-regions will make the difference on climate change and, in decarbonising by 2038, Greater Manchester can create a blueprint for every other city in the world. It wouldn’t be the first time. We can change ourselves, and we can inspire change in others. I say this to the people of Greater Manchester: come with us. Tackling a problem on this scale will need us all to work together.”
During the Green Summit attendees will be asked for their feedback on Greater Manchester’s proposed new five-year Environment Plan. The aim is to deliver a boost to innovation, attract inward investment, create better jobs, and deliver healthier, happier and more prosperous communities with a better quality of life for all. Potential measures towards decarbonisation include:
Cllr Alex Ganotis, Portfolio Lead for Green City Region, added: “We face urgent and significant environmental challenges in Greater Manchester – the global impacts of climate change and environmental decline have been widely acknowledged as among the greatest economic and public health threats of this century.
“Our Five Year Environment Plan sets out how we will tackle these challenges in Greater Manchester, meeting our environmental responsibilities, alongside securing our economic future and wellbeing. To do this, it sets out a range of policies and commitments, as well as proposing actions that we all need to take to secure an excellent environment for our city region and contribute our fair share to tackling global climate change.
“Greater Manchester has a history of industrial and social innovation and we need to harness this to make sure everyone here can grow up and live in a clean and green city region, with good quality housing and secure jobs in the future economy.”
Other key speakers at the summit include: Emma Greenwood, Youth Strike 4 Climate pupil; Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner; Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency; and Lemn Sissay, Chancellor of The University of Manchester.
There will also be various surprise special video messages of support during the day from internationally recognised environmental champions. As well as the main conference theatre, a series of activities will be held throughout the day in four main breakout areas: the ‘Innovation Zone’, ‘Public Sector Zone’, ‘Green Citizen Zone’ and ‘Market Place’.
For anyone who hasn’t got a ticket, the conference will be live streamed via BBC Events Online. People can also follow the summit on Twitter via #GMGreenCity or on our website at https://gmgreensummit.com
Article Published: 25/03/2019 08:42 AM