Greater Manchester’s leaders have set out the radical, life-saving actions they will take to improve air quality, tackle emissions and reduce the region’s carbon footprint.
The Greater Manchester Low-Emission Strategy, Air Quality Action Plan and Climate Change and Low-Emission Implementation Plan are now available to view online.
Collectively, they set out the actions and policies required to meet demanding environmental targets that will ensure the continued economic growth of the UK’s foremost city regions does not come hand-in-hand with a rise in air pollution and carbon emissions.
Developed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the Low-Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan aim to reduce air pollution as a contributor to ill-health.
They support the UK Government in meeting EU air quality thresholds, help reduce Greater Manchester’s carbon footprint and encourage low-emission behaviour in all organisations and communities across the region.
Measures include making more of the region’s buses environmentally friendly, exploring the feasibility of a Clean Air Zone, increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points, more cycling infrastructure, and supporting sustainability in the freight and logistics sector.
Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester Mayor and GMCA lead member for transport, said: “Air quality and carbon emissions are two of the most important issues facing Greater Manchester as there is strong evidence to suggest that they pose a significant risk to the environment and to public health.
“We’ve already made significant progress in reducing regional nitrogen dioxide and carbon emission levels, but more action is needed along with a collective commitment from a wide range of organisations, both public and private, if we are to meet tough targets and limits in the future.
“The Low-Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan offer a sustainable, long-term approach to support Greater Manchester’s wider economic, social and environmental ambitions.”
Agreed by the GMCA and developed by New Economy, the Greater Manchester Climate Change and Low-Emission Implementation Plan maps out a comprehensive programme to reduce the region’s carbon footprint.
The GMCA has set out its stall to be a pioneer in local low-carbon energy supply and demand alongside supporting low-carbon growth, climate change adaptation and wider environmental and societal goals.
The aim is to reduce carbon levels in 2020 to 48 per cent of what they were back in 1990.
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett, chair of the Low Carbon Hub, said: “These are exciting times for Greater Manchester, with increasing opportunities to shape our local future through devolution, achieve our local targets and meet our global commitments.
“The Government has committed to working with Greater Manchester to consider how the design and delivery of national policies and programmes can be better aligned and integrated to support delivery of the region’s low-carbon priorities, to protect and enhance the environmental quality and resilience of the conurbation.
“The Climate Change and Low-Emission Implementation Plan is integral to Greater Manchester’s success in achieving these challenging goals through realistic direction and joint action.”
The Low-Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan can be viewed and downloaded from the GMCA website at www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/airquality and the Climate Change and Low-Emission Implementation Plan at www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/info/20005/low_carbon.