CEM Podcast Ep. 9.2 – Carbon Literacy Training

There is perhaps no better example of MCC’s endless cycle of pledges and spin, than their attempt to train their workforce on the environment. This story of big promises and failed delivery can only be told because of the work of concerned citizens and the persistent use of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 

Hat tip to Manchester Climate Monthly for a lot of the source info used in this podcast.

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In this episode:

  •   What is carbon literacy and why is it important? [00:35]
  • How long have MCC been talking about carbon literacy and what promises have they made before? [5:05]

Here begins the timeline of broken pledges on carbon literacy training (CLT):

2009 – Manchester A Certain Future – “Everyone who lives, works or studies in Manchester will receive a day of CLT by the end of 2013.” [05:53]

2012 Carbon Literacy Project Launch. New target – 60/96 councillors to be carbon literate by end of 2014. [08:29]

2014 – Actual no. of councillors completed training = 23 [10:51]

2016 Public database to share completion rates by councillors refused by MCC. Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, completes the training that he first promised and launched 5 years earlier.

2017 – Only 1 of 10 Senior Management Team members are carbon literate. [12:47]

2019 – MCC Climate Emergency Declaration – includes commitment that everyone in the council will receive carbon literacy training by the end of 2020 and even included the commitment to “make attendance easier by varying times and length of sessions! [13:52]

2021 New goal of “Gold” status organisation for Carbon Literacy Training by 2025. [15:35]

In Nov 2021, MCC are forced to admit it provided inaccurate information. The council claimed the majority of their communications team had completed the training. In fact, only 11 out of 50 members of the communications team were carbon literate. [17:40]

2022 Zero Carbon Coordination Group minutes include new internal target – all senior leadership group members to be carbon literate by end of 2022.

Nov 2022  target for Gold Carbon Literacy Training by March 2025 remains, but whether there are any interim milestones that we can keep them to is unclear.

  • Simon sums up – without this reminder, anyone could think they only started talking about Carbon Literacy Training in 2019 and were just delayed by the pandemic. That is very, very far from the truth. [23:41] 

if you’ve heard a carbon literacy commitment not captured in this post, let us know. We’ve tried to pin down all the claims we are aware of, or have revealed through FOIAS, but there might be other missed targets out there!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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