Letter in MEN: of inadequate emissions reductions and missing “low carbon cultures”

The lead letter in today’s Manchester Evening News-

Letter to Manchester Evening NewsMargaret Brown’s letter ( Climate is the pressing issue , MEN, 22 July) rightly notes that “Global warming is accelerating twice as fast in the Arctic as anywhere else.” Sadly, as the newly-released annual report of Manchester City Council’s arms-length climate change “agency”  shows, action in Manchester is not accelerating at all.  Buried in the middle of the report, far away from the soothing glossy pictures and bland promises of future action, we learn that “based on the data for 2018 and projected emissions for 2019, 26% of Manchester’s remaining carbon budget for 2018 to 2100 has been used in the initial two-year period (2018 and 2019).”
The report also reveals that emissions fell by only 4% last year – the target was 13%. The new target is now 14.8%, but there is no indication on how it might be hit. Further there is no mention of the creation of a low carbon culture. The council once promised to “engage all individuals, neighbourhoods and organisations in Manchester in a process of cultural change that embeds ‘low carbon thinking’ into the lifestyles and operations of the city…. Enabling a low carbon culture in the city will be particularly important if the challenge of meeting even more demanding carbon reduction targets between 2020 and 2050 is to be met.”
This was one of two headline goals in the original 2009 climate plan, but seems to have been quietly dropped.
If readers are concerned about climate change, they can write to their councillors and try to find out what – if anything – has been done in their ward since the declaration of a climate emergency over a year ago.   I did this in my ward, Whalley Range, 12 days ago, and received no reply from any of my councillors, so today I sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the Council.  I doubt the answers I finally receive will match the urgency of a burning Arctic and an overheating world.

 

Marc Hudson
Climate Emergency Manchester

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