Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, laid out his vision for Manchester achieving net zero before 2038 at the Green Summit Manchester 2023.
The summit was held between local business leaders, local politicians, and other important figures in the Greater Manchester area.
After the announcement by the Prime Minister that the country’s net-zero targets were being delayed, there was great excitement as Burnham reaffirmed on stage his commitment to making Greater Manchester net-zero by 2038.
Former COP26 President Alok Sharma, the Conservative MP for Reading West, also gave a speech.
Sharma’s speech was applauded as he noted the overall economic boost the country would have if it fully engaged in a green economy and going net zero.
The conference took place after the publication of a report by the Clean Cities campaign, which placed Manchester at the bottom of 42 European cities in tackling net-zero goals.
When asked by The Mancunion, Burnham described the report as “unbalanced and unfair”, noting that “it didn’t give any weighting to the fact we have the country’s biggest tram system which runs entirely on green energy.”
Burnham also expressed frustration at the government’s shift to focusing on drivers, telling The Mancunion that “now is a moment to prioritise public transport”, while emphasising his hope that buses “can be for everyone.”
The mayor was also asked how the Bee Network, the integrated transport system being introduced to Manchester, might impact students in the future, to which he replied, “I am looking at the cost of student travel, to see if we can bring in an 18-21 offer on the Bee Network.”
Burnham was keen to emphasise that this proposal was still in the consultation phase.