Council carbon emissions down 13% since 2010

Latest figures show Manchester City Council’s carbon emissions have decreased by 13% over the last five years.

The figures show that the amount of carbon produced has decreased since the launch of ambitious plans to slash emissions across the city.

This is due to a combination of factors including reductions in the number of vehicle journeys being made by the city council’s fleet and reductions in the number of taxi and train journeys made by staff.

The amount of emissions generated by traffic lights also decreased by more than 60 per cent during the period, because of more efficient LED light bulbs being used across Greater Manchester and old traffic signal controllers being replaced with more efficient systems.

The amount emissions from buildings have reduced overall because of work to make large buildings more efficient since 2009/10 and reductions in the size of the estate.

Emissions have increased slightly over the last year because of changes in the national electricity 'emissions factor' - the amount of carbon Government calculates is produced by the generation of electricity.

However, more work is now being planned to make the council’s buildings much more efficient.

This includes undertaking a huge building by building survey of all council buildings, and carrying out a programme of maintenance to make the best use of low carbon technologies where available.

Other work is also planned to dramatically reduce the emissions created by Manchester’s street lights, under plans to replace them with low energy LED bulbs, as well as to create a highly efficient heat network for council buildings in the city centre.

The city council has committed to reducing its own carbon emissions by 41 per cent by 2020 from 2009 levels, as part of a larger city-wide climate change plan.

The plan, entitled Manchester - A Certain Future, was written by more than 100 organisations including businesses, universities and public bodies, outlining what can be done to reduce the city’s emissions by the same amount from 2005 levels.

Councillor Kate Chappell, Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, said:

“Cutting the amount of emissions the City Council produces was always a key part of our plan to tackle climate change across Manchester, and we hope that much of the work that we’re doing will continue to encourage other organisations to develop their own plans.

“We recognise that there has been a slight increase in the figures this year, despite a reduction in the underlying usage. This is partly due to the fact that, although we only buy electricity from 100 per cent renewable energy, current government policy doesn’t enable us to reflect this in the figures.

“We still have some way to go before we are able to achieve our goals over the next five years, but we are rolling out lots of exciting plans over the next few years and are committed to saving money and creating a better quality of life for our staff and Manchester residents.”

City centre councillor Kevin Peel said:

"A 13% reduction given the current massive pressure on local government budgets is still pretty good but there is recognition across the council that much more has to be done if we're to achieve the very ambitious target we set ourselves five years ago.

"Here in the city centre we're playing our part by encouraging more people to use sustainable transport and investing in better cycling infrastructure. We're also funding a number of tree planting schemes and innovative green space projects and challenging developers to do more to make new buildings greener and more sustainable."

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