Manchester holds its first Green Summit
Manchester is a city already experiencing global attention as it continues to thrive with the creation of new businesses, infrastructure and world class education and research facilities. Today, Manchester is taking the next step toward leading itself and others to a progressive future with its inaugural Green Summit.
The Green Summit has been born from the ambitions of city mayor Andy Burnham and other leading figures to make Manchester one of the primary green cities in Europe and to bring forward carbon neutrality to 2040 at the earliest.
The current goal is for Greater Manchester to decrease emissions by 80-90% by 2050 (from 1990) which is in line with the UK’s target. However the Green Summit looks to implement one of the most ambitious objectives for carbon neutrality throughout the whole of Europe, really making Manchester stand out as a pioneer and leading city for instigating change.
The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “A carbon-neutral city-region needn’t be some far-off ambition, the reality is that we can’t afford to wait; climate change is happening now. A green future is there for the taking if we just take that first step to go for it. For Greater Manchester, today is that first big step.”
Some of the suggestions up for discussion include the introduction of electric taxis, emissions free buses, enhancements to walking/cycling infrastructure and promotion with investment of up to £150m over three years from 2019, tougher measures put on owners of properties who do not meet minimum energy efficiency standards, reduction in plastic across the region through a proposed plastic-free city-region scheme, and the development of a Greater Manchester Infrastructure Strategy which will look at everything from waste management to digital infrastructure.
Burnham continued: “Greater Manchester has never been afraid to be a pioneer – and today’s Green Summit presents us with a fantastic opportunity to be bold in our ambitions and become a UK and European Leader. More local renewable energy is achievable, and is increasingly becoming cheaper and cleaner than carbon fuels. Although initial investment can be expensive, the long-term rewards and savings are huge. What we can’t afford are the long-term costs of carrying on as we are.”
With the environment one of the biggest threats to the planet right now Manchester’s Green Summit is exactly the kind of thing that we need to see more of, and it is hoped that other cities around the world will follow suit.