Manchester fell short of its predicted reduction in carbon emissions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Councillors have now been warned that the city may run-through their carbon budget for this century within just 5 years.
During the pandemic, the city had a reduction target of 13% per year. This was part of Manchester City Council’s target of halving their emissions by 2025.
Data published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, detailed that Manchester had only reduced its carbon emissions by 12 percent in 2020.
Manchester has pledged to be a zero-carbon city by 2038. This is ahead of the UK government’s 2050 net zero carbon emissions target.
Despite this, Climate Emergency Manchester reported in 2021 that the city had used around 40% of their recommended emissions for the century in just three years. Yearly emissions will now need to be at a 16 % reduction to meet the target.
The City Council have determined 43 actions to help reach their targets, through five workstreams. Their aims include: a comprehensive investment programme to deliver energy efficiency; improvements to sustainable and active travel; and a goal to be single use plastic free by 2024.
They are also seeking to influence, lobby, and work in partnership with Greater Manchester and the UK government to tackle the climate emergency
Whilst the city council is on track with their emissions targets, Labour councillor Tracey Rawlins has pointed out that “the emissions that we’re responsible for as an organisation are quite small. We’re doing what we can, but it’s really important we continue to drive that.”
The council has generated a refreshed action plan. This includes investing in carbon-friendly schemes such as improving council buildings’ energy efficiency and investing in large-scale sustainable energy generation.
Manchester City Council is sure they will reach their 2038 target and stated that they are on track to meet their 50% reduction of “CO2 emissions from the Council’s operational estate and streetlighting” by 2025.