Daily carbon emissions in the UK have dropped staggeringly more than a third during the period of lockdown, according to recent data. Although these reductions are short term, recovery post coronavirus must be green in order for these emissions to continue to reduce. Travel restrictions have contributed massively to the reduction of emissions during lockdown - almost all flights being restricted has inhibited people from flying and thus reduced emissions in the UK, but also carbon emissions from road transport such as cars has reduced by 60% during lockdown.
The Government’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic suggests “the magic money tree has always been there”, Gavin Elliott, head of the BDP Manchester studio believes, and raises the question of why funds were not previously used to tackle climate change. Coronavirus is of course an urgent, worldwide crisis, but any climate scientist will say the exact same thing about climate change, yet the Government don't register the same level of commitment to this crisis.
Gavin Elliott, head of BDP in Manchester explained at an event last week why as a city, we must cut our emissions by 50% in the next 5 years, if we are to acheive Manchester's target of net-zero by 2038. Leaders of Manchester's development community gathered to discuss what must be done to reach this target. Read more about it here:
The Manchester Climate Change Partnership has today hailed the Council's endorsement of the Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25 as a ‘clear moment of international leadership for Manchester’ and ‘a big step towards limiting the impacts of climate change and create a healthy, green, socially just city where everyone can thrive’.
The development of a new £1.3 million park has been proposed, and it’s said that the facility will act as a 'sponge' to prevent flooding in one corner of Manchester by soaking up excess rainwater in West Gorton. The park will serve as a green space with a children’s play area alike most parks, but will also combat climate change by limiting flood risk in the area.
The UKGBC have made strong commitments to reduce the levels of carbon emitted during the construction process of all new housing, and vow to ensure that new housing does not contribute to the carbon problem that we already face.
However, the government are calling to “restrict local planning authorities from setting higher energy efficiency stands for dwellings” so that only the national building regulations must be considered when constructing new property - these low standards will mean that new building developments will not have to be net zero.
On 7th February 2020 Manchester City Council launched a consultation on the development of the city's main planning document, the Local Plan. The first stage of the consultation is focused on the 'Local Plan Issues'. So, rather than presenting specific policies at this stage, the purpose of the consultation is to identify the key issues that the Local Plan needs to address.
Based on the Council's own website, it would appear that climate change is already on the radar: