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Green City Region

Building a greener, cleaner region

We're reducing Greater Manchester's carbon footprint to help make the most of the area's energy and resources. 

Our target for 2020 is to cut emissions to 48 per cent of their 1990 levels.

We're helping businesses, residents and the public sector get more energy-efficient, and investing in our natural environment to respond to climate change and to improve quality of life.

This work is centred on our Low Carbon Hub, run by a board of public, private, voluntary, university and government representatives. The hub combines business innovation with a special interest in a green, sustainable environment.

The Greater Manchester Climate Change and Low Emissions Implementation Plan lays out our pathway for the next 4 years.  It builds upon existing work and sets out our priorities to 2020 and beyond.  It includes actions to both address climate change and improve Greater Manchester’s air quality. 

The Climate Change and Low Emissions Implementation Plan complements the Greater Manchester Low-Emission Strategy and Greater Manchester Air Quality Action Plan.

Green Summit

Following his election, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, announced his ambitions for making Greater Manchester one of the leading green cities in Europe. To help realise these ambitions, he called for a landmark Green Summit, which is being held on 21 March 2018.

Following an extensive consultation phase, the summit will bring together environmental experts, interest groups, partner agencies, academics and local people together to establish a ‘green charter’, accelerate Greater Manchester’s green ambitions, and explore the earliest possible milestones for achieving carbon neutrality.

Our headline goals:

Cutting carbon emissions by 48% between 1990 and 2020. 

Growing a low carbon economy – UK’s 3rd largest low carbon and environmental goods and services sector generating £3.4 Billion GVA and 37,000 jobs.

Achieving EU Air Quality thresholds – Supporting UK Government in achieving targets in order to reduce ill health at the earliest opportunity.

Embedding Low Carbon Behaviours – A UK reputation for its pioneering work in championing action on climate change.

Rapidly adapting to a changing climate

Urban Pioneer

The Urban Pioneer is one of four three–year DEFRA Pioneer projects designed to support and inform the development of Government’s approach in its 25 Year Environment Plan (25 YEP). The aspiration for the 25 YEP is that; within a generation (25 years), our country will be the healthiest and most beautiful place to live, work and bring up a family. With the vision for this country to be cleaner, greener, healthier and a more prosperous place to live and work.

“To be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it.”

The Pioneers are action learning pilots of the 25 YEP approach and DEFRA have asked the Pioneers to explore, test and trial four aspects of the plan –the ‘asks’:

  • Testing new tools and methods as part of applying a natural capital approach in practice
  • Demonstrate a joined-up integrated approach to delivery
  • Pioneer and ‘scale-up’ the use of new funding opportunities 
  • Grow our understanding of ‘what works’, sharing lessons and best practice.

The Urban Pioneer will explore the links between environment, society and economy, focusing on improving the natural environment through improved decision making to support the health, wellbeing and prosperity of Greater Manchester’s residents. 

International commitments

Greater Manchester's international commitments in relation to climate change and reducing carbon levels.

Natural Capital Group

The Natural Capital Group deliver the Local Nature Partnership in the Greater Manchester area.  They bring together partners to coordinate and strengthen local action to protect and improve their area’s natural environment.

Testing new heating systems

We're running a series of trials to find more efficient and sustainable heating in our homes and businesses.

Domestic and non domestic energy efficiency

‘Future proofing’ homes, public and commercial properties by retrofitting and adaptation.

Low Carbon Project Delivery Unit

The Low Carbon Project Delivery Unit (PDU) is a centralised specialist team working to support the 10 Greater Manchester authorities to deliver a programme of low carbon projects across the city-region. 


Find out more about Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub and how businesses, universities and the public sector are working together on carbon reduction and low carbon growth at:

To sign up to the Low Carbon Hub quarterly e-bulletin email:

Twitter: @GMLowcarbonhub

Key partners:

Useful resources for businesses:

Lead member

Councillor Alex Ganotis, Leader of Stockport Council


Mark Atherton, Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub


Phone: 07973 957563 

Twitter: @GMLowcarbonhub

Information on Green City Region