The city’s environmental strategy service is dedicated to developing Manchester’s long-term future as a sustainable, low carbon city. Thus, the municipality is set out to promote an understanding of environmental issues, challenges and opportunities – particularly climate change – and to create frameworks, guidance and support for organisations and residents across the city, so they can take action to improve Manchester’s environmental performance. Climate change presents one of the biggest global challenges for the current time, but the solutions are local, and many of them need organisations and households to work together over quite long periods of time. Cities are key as more than half of the world’s population lives in cities and this is growing quickly.

Objectives and beneficiaries

The vision is to create the plans and opportunities for Manchester to being amongst the best, so that the future citizens can enjoy the prosperity of a city that is a world leader in the low carbon economy. For this, the environmental strategy is to support the city in developing ways of reducing carbon emissions and create a 'low carbon economy' that is climate-adapted and less dependent on oil, gas and coal, and improve the quality of the environment, biodiversity and natural resources.

Strong points of the practice

This plan sets headline actions for just one decade - to 2020 - but it provides a strong starting point for a much longer journey, through to 2050 and a radically changed, low carbon future where large-scale emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have become a thing of the past.

Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation

Final aims:

- to reduce the city of Manchester's carbon emissions by 41% by 2020 and enhance this percentage by 2050
- to engage all individuals, neighbourhoods and organisations in a process of cultural change that embeds 'low carbon' thinking into the lifestyles and operations of the city.

Replicability potential of the practice

The city’s council recognizes that as we take up the climate challenge, the city will benefit significantly. In the years ahead, low carbon cities will have a clear market advantage over those that have not made the transition. Resilient cities’ citizens will benefit from new "green collar" jobs and clean enterprises. They will be better adapted to a changed future and be healthier, greener and safer as a result. For this reasons the practice could be implemented everywhere.