Last year was about planning and promising. This year, in the words of a very senior official from Manchester City Council, is, well, read the headline. For a quick overview of important issues and dates between now and issue 66 of MCFly, read on….
At the end of January, the Council is going to say how it will meet its “10:10” obligations. The Council’s budget gets set in February/March. How much will they be spending on climate change? Watch this space. On May 6th council elections take place. Labour’s dominance (they have two thirds of the council seats) may get chipped away, but they will still be in control, albeit perhaps without some high- profile politicians. [MCFly will cover two wards- Northenden and Hulme]
Meanwhile, the Council is hoping that organisations big and small, public and private, will be endorsing the Action Plan and writing their own delivery plans. To help this along, templates are being produced. A 12 member Steering Group (see page 2) will have been formed and prod the Council towards the production of a Delivery Plan, to be presented (it’s hoped) to the Council’s Executive in September. Then, late in the year, there’ll be the first “stakeholder” conference, with between 100 and 200 representatives of stakeholders meeting to monitor progress so far.
What will success look like? MCFly’s answer would be – a huge response (including criticism of the existing plans inadequacies and suggestions for plugging gaps around food, aviation, and peak oil) from individuals and groups throughout the city, and the vigorous implementation of some bold high profile moves. Failure looks like “no bikes on trams”, and an expanding airport and more talk about boldness but no actual boldness..
The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities has won City Region status, which is essential for dealing with energy, transport and so forth. There are seven “Commissions” of politicians and bureaucrats/business people. The Environment Commission will be trying to carve out a role, using Greater Manchester’s Low Carbon Economic Area for the Built Environment status. Expect some changes to the make-up of AGMA (and the Commissions) after the May 6th elections…
MCFly will be at the (re)launch of the North West Climate Change Action Plan on Friday February 12th (at the Midland Hotel) as part of our “canape won’t pay” policy. But the real question troubling assorted bureaucrats and quangocrats won’t be the survival of the planet but the survival of the North West Development Agency. The Tories have been making finger-across-the-throat gestures towards the regional development agencies, but it’s unclear what business wants, and whether that will carry the day…
If the Tories get in, they won’t be repealing the Climate Change Act anytime soon, but the future of the Department of Energy and Climate Change is less certain. There is probably enough business interest in the money making opportunities in a “Low Carbon Transition” to keep the 2020 plans on track, but there are worrying numbers of denialists and delayers in Tory ranks, all the way up the hierarchy.
Legitimacy versus effectiveness questions will be asked longer and louder. The UNFCCC caravan heads back home to Bonn and then on to Mexico City in November. Will there be a legally binding treaty by the end of the year? It’s pretty unlikely, and. much depends on the progress of Climate Change/Energy legislation through the United States Congress. But even, then a politically acceptable deal is likely to be scientifically inadequate, an adequate deal unacceptable…
And on the subject of ‘delivery delivery delivery’- MCFly sends congratulations to Leo. And Emma- we always knew you had it in you!
Supported by Artists Project Earth
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