As predicted, Manchester City Council is trying to spin its abject failure to lead on carbon emissions reductions as something to boast about at the COP26 meeting starting tomorrow.
In a press release the Council boasts of how
Manchester has set a target of becoming zero carbon by 2038 – 12 years ahead of the national target – and Manchester City Council’s Climate Change Action Plan has outlined how it will lead by example by reducing the Council’s own direct emissions by 50 per cent by 2025.
Despite the inordinate length of the press release, nowhere do the following facts get mentioned
- The “zero carbon by 2038” plan is predicated on a carbon budget for the city for the rest of the city of 15 Million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
- In the last three years, the city has burned through 6 million tonnes, leaving only 9 million tonnes for the next 79 years. Yeah, good luck with that.
- The Council is off target on its emissions reductions, and is not being clear if some of those are due to a continued sell-off of buildings (this was one of the ways they “achieved” emissions reductions in the past).
- The Climate Change Action Plan is stuck in development hell. In February 2020 a “Framework” was produced. It lacked any SMART objectives, so they are now producing another one, which won’t get signed off until March 2022.
Rather than shamefacedly keep the lowest profile imaginable, they’re – of course – boasting about… nothing. The 2021 Brass Neck Awards need look no further. But then, going back to 1992, climate change has always (only?) been seen as a marketing opportunity for this Council. Back then it was about bidding to host the follow-up to the Rio Earth Summit, the now forgotten “Global Forum”, where all sorts of promises about imminent action in the face of impending doom were made. By the time that happened, in 1994, the Council had already abolished the “Environment Forum” because unhelpful citizens were using it to raise questions about the environment (I know, some people, eh?)) and refusing to be fobbed off.
Other points to note
Of the “Climate Assembly” report, promised for release on 29 October… there is no sign. So, that’s another £10k spaffed against the wall. Bravo!!
The Executive Member is travelling by train. I suppose we should be grateful given that a) the Council has started flying people domestically again, and has no protocol to stop this and b) back at the last “last chance to save the world” Climate Conference, in 2009, the Council leader and his “Director” of Environmental Strategy flew to Copenhagen and back.
The Council can’t even put up a blog post with a correct hyperlink