Manchester Council announce their Climate Change 'Call-to-Action'
Manchester City Council announced their 'Call to Action' on climate change last Wednesday 14th January. This stated plans are to reduce the City's emissions by one third by 2020.
"Great!" we thought, surely if the Council owns 55% of Manchester Airport Group (MAG - which also owns Nottingham East Midlands, Humberside and Bournemouth – and are considering buying Gatwick) then surely this 'Call to Action' would have to curtail the Airport's ambitions by 2030?
Alas no. The Council simply washed their hands of this issue. Council Chair, Sir Richard Leese replied that they can't legally constrain the Airport and that if the planes didn't fly out from Manchester then it would probably be from somewhere else, causing more pollution.
Following this logic, extending the airport is the only sensible way to stop more CO2 emissions. Intriguingly two of MAG's directors, Brian Harrison and lord Peter Smith are also Manchester Councillors.
The Council Executive stuck by their plans for a 'Green Airport'. This involves the continued support for the Airport's growth whilst helping it to achieve its aim of becoming carbon neutral. Unfortunately this carbon neutrality will not include the emissions from the planes. Finding credibility in the Manchester's climate change plans is like attempting to nail jelly to a wall -the harder you try, the more it falls apart.
This article is based on a blog from Manchester Climate Fortnightly.
Also see: Manchester Evening News coverage