The last local climate report made for stark reading. In the just three years since setting up a carbon budget Manchester has burned 40% of its allowance for the entire 21st century.
Manchester is massively off course with the climate emergency actions it needs to take.
The new council leader, elected by Labour Group on the evening of Tuesday October 5th, can hit the reset button and lead by example.
We write this open letter to all four candidates.
We urge people who live, work or study in Manchester to contact every single councillor they know to share this open letter and add their own thoughts on what the new leader, whoever he or she is, should do.
In the first hundred days
Within the Council
- Hold an extraordinary meeting of Executive devoted to what is not going well with the Climate Emergency action
- Commit to having climate as a standing item at the Executive meetings
- Hold an extraordinary Full Council meeting devoted to what is not going well with the Climate Emergency action (in the aftermath of Glasgow to try to keep momentum going?)
- Encourage – and certainly do not block – all scrutiny chairs to include an item dedicated to the climate emergency regularly on all the agendas
- Commit to having all members carbon literate by March 2022 and all staff by December 2022
- Drop the costly challenge to the legal decision in favour of the Trees Not Cars group
- Commit to regular, accurate public reporting of air quality levels throughout the city and the reporting of the results in a prominent and consistent manner
Facing the public and leading on the city’s emissions
- Ensure that the Council’s website prominently highlights climate change – both the promises and the progress (or lack of it) on both the Council and the city’s emissions.
- Host a public meeting with the Manchester Partnership (representatives from all members) AND critics of the council on the proposition “What is to be done to get us less far off track?”
- Start a monthly column in the MEN where you write about all aspects of climate change
- Overhaul the dysfunctional partnership, including removing the Airport from the partnership
- Read the mandate delivered by Manchester Climate Change Community Assembly and provide a public response with specific, timely implementation proposals
Beyond the first 100 days
- Blog regularly and frankly about climate change on the Leader’s Blog. Engage constructively with critics.
- Between now and April 2022, attend public meetings in all 32 wards about climate and other environmental issues
- Commission a study that looks at the social and environmental costs of continued economic growth, to be debated in Full Council