Our city’s shared plan to tackle climate change

What's the Plan?


Our Targets


In November 2018 Manchester committed to the following targets in relation to our 'direct' CO2 emissions i.e. the emissions from our buildings and transport:

  • Emit only 15 million tonnes CO2 during 2018-2100 – our ‘carbon budget’
  • Reduce emissions by at least 13% year-on-year
  • Become a zero carbon city by 2038, at the latest 


These targets were set based on Manchester making its fair contribution to the Paris Agreement and were developed by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. The targets were formally adopted by Manchester City Council in November 2018. They were part of the 'Playing Our Full Part' proposal to the City Council from Manchester Climate Change Agency. 


The proposal also identified the need for Manchester to take action on its 'indirect' / 'consumption-based emissions' and the emissions from flights from Manchester Airport, as part of national and international action. However, specific objectives and targets weren't included as part of the Tyndall Centre analysis or Playing Our Full Part proposal in 2018.


Further information is available here.


Updating Our Targets - January 2020


During December 2019 to February 2020, the Tyndall Centre are undertaking a review of Manchester's targets to ensure we have up to date commitments in relation to the latest science and the Paris Agreement's 1.5oC goal. The scope of this review is:


  • Direct CO2 emissions: updating the targets we set in 2018 (as above)
  • Indirect / consumption-based CO2 emissions: to recomend the objectives and targets we should adopt to address emissions from the products, materials and services that we use here in Manchester but which are produced / originate outside the city e.g. electronics, furniture, clothing, construction materials, vehicles (their manufacturing), and others.
  • Aviation emissions from Manchester Airport: to recommend the objectives and targets we need for managing aviation emissions from Manchester Airport, in the context of the Paris Agreement and as part of wider national and international action.


The brief is available to download here.


Meeting Our Targets - Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25


Manchester has adopted a different approach to other cities. We don’t have a single plan setting out how we will meet our climate change targets. Our approach is based on every resident and every organisation in the city making and delivering their own commitments and action plans.


However, we need a way to bring all these plans together into a coherent and coordinated approach. To do that we are producing a Manchester Climate Change Framework for 2020-25. This document will set out our targets, the headline actions we need to meet our targets, and a high-level breakdown of what needs to be achieved in all our homes, schools, colleges, businesses and organisations. The Framework will provide a structure where every person, group and organisation can ‘plug in’ their own commitments and action plans. Added together, this is how we will meet our targets.


To make a start, a draft Framework was published in February 2019 and endorsed by Manchester City Council in March 2019. Further information is available here.


The final Framework will be published here in February 2020.


Actions by Every Resident and Organisation


Even before the Tyndall Centre complete their latest review, we already have a good understanding of the actions we need to take across the city.


Manchester Climate Change Agency have developed 15 actions that we need every resident, school, college, business and organisation to take.


There are actions that you can take right now (for example walking and taking more public transport, eating less meat), and others that will take time to plan for (for example, retrofitting your home or office, shifting to an electric vehicle).


The key thing is that we need EVERYONE to take these actions. Find out more here.


Supporting and Enabling Action – actions by Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, UK Government and Other Agencies


There are currently many reasons why Manchester residents and organisations can't fully deliver the 15 actions we need them to. Insufficient funding for retrofitting homes. A lack of safe walking and cycling routes in many communities. Poor public transport making the private car the easiest option for travelling to work. Addressing these barriers requires urgent action from Manchester City Council, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority UK Government and other agencies.


Manchester City Council: will publish their Climate Change Action Plan for 2020-25 in March 2020. In the meantime their current plan for 2016-20 is available from www.manchester.gov.uk/climatechange


Greater Manchester Combined Authority: the Greater Manchester Environment Plan 2019-24 sets out the latest commitments www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/


UK Government: the current Government's manifesto (2019) is available here, including the commitment to 'Reach Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution'. Further details on Government policies and strategies are available from www.gov.uk/environment/climate-change-energy.


Get In Touch


Is there something missing from these plans that would help you, your community, your school, or your business to act? Let us know at info@manchesterclimate.com 


Previous Plans


For information on our previous plans visit here.