On Wednesday Manchester City Council will be agreeing its Climate Change Action Plan at an Executive Committee meeting in the Town hall. This action plan is basically a document outlining how the Council plans to reduce CO2 emissions by one million tonnes in Manchester in the years up to 2020.
Richard Leese, Leader of the Council will be eagerly flying a copy of this new document to the Copenhagen Summit(COP15) so that he can show off Manchester as a shining example of what a council can do to tackle climate change(I think?). As I haven’t seen the document yet I am trying to hold off on the cynicism and despite their appalling record I am willing to give the council the benefit of the doubt for now. At the end of the day it is in none of our interest for the Council to produce a limp or ineffective plan and so what if it helps Sir Richard boost his non existing environmental credentials to a bunch of politicians in the process. These politicians will probably be too busy looking for ways to get out of committing to making any real and meaningful changes to notice……hmmmmm……that’s best kept another blog post .
To be fair, I’m sure there will be some interesting initiatives in the new Action Plan, enough groups including us Greens and allot of well intentioned people have chipped in; it will no doubt ‘talk the talk’ as the Call To Action did early last year. I really hope that the Climate Change Action Plan is more than a collection of buzz words and token initiatives. There wont be any earth shattering revelations lets not kid ourselves and ultimately it won’t tackle the root cause of Climate Change – the system – but it could mark a new era in the Council – it might actually start to take Climate Change seriously.
But if you are nervous about the whole thing, thankfully the Call to Real Action(C2RA), a group of concerned citizens, are going to write their own Alternative Action Plan. Just encase the Council misses out some things, as has been their habit in the past – Don’t mention the war, I mean the Airport or its 13 million tonnes of CO2! The next step for C2RA will be to publish our version of the Climate Change Action Plan ready for Sir Richards trip to Copenhagen. The C2RA Group has cleverly been using what in battle is termed a ‘pincer movement’ to ensure that the Council achieves their aim of developing a climate change strategy. They have taken an inside/outside approach participating in writing groups, the environmental advisory panel and attending consultations that the Council set up whilst almost simultaneously the C2RA have been producing an Alternative Action Plan to plug the holes so to speak.
This week could be an interesting one …………….