What can national government learn from the Greater Manchester Green Summit? Despite the young climate strikers in Parliament Square and Extinction Rebellion shutting down roads (and putting on an interesting show last week in the Commons), there has been little parliamentary response. The business of the UK parliament has been brought to a halt by the yoke of Brexit. So how refreshing it was to attend an event with energy, brimming with ideas and unashamedly facing the future, launching Greater Manchester’s five-year plan for the environment up to 2024. I left inspired but concerned about how this could be replicated in other regions and at a national level. Here are some of the learning points I took away: Start with a clear pathway: Greater Manchester wants to be carbon neutral by 2038 and has used the Tyndall Centre to set out a clear pathway for its carbon reductions. Admittedly, all the policy isn’t in place yet, but the gaps have been identified with what needs to be done. Link to other strategies; Get business buy-in; Give it figurehead leadership; Have a good narrative. Despite being positive overall, there are still big questions to be answered if the mayor is to deliver on his vision. City regions are still limited by the powers they actually have and the money to implement what they want to do. Many of the intended actions rely on the UK government granting more powers or providing more funding. Likewise, more explanation is needed for those policies that rely on behaviour change, such as the idea that Mancunians should be more responsible consumers. The summit didn’t get much coverage in national media last week. But I guess that doesn’t matter much if the plan is not to talk about it, but just to do it.
Business Green 8th April 2019 read more »