UK first zero-carbon target for Transport for Greater Manchester

20 June 2013  •  Source: Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has become the first UK transport authority to commit to becoming carbon neutral.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) LogoTfGM has reduced its own carbon emissions by 19% over the last three years. The organisation now has a clear plan to reach its carbon saving target of 75% by as soon as 2018 and is developing plans to be a zero carbon authority by 2033.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee said: “Traffic on our roads makes up about one-third of Greater Manchester’s carbon emissions so anything we can do to influence that is important, which is why we are playing our part with these ambitious carbon savings targets.”

The carbon neutral commitment is being made as TfGM this week launched a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the connection between public transport and carbon emissions.

Part of the Ticket to Kyoto (T2K) partnership, the campaign highlights what TfGM and four other European partners are doing to help reduce carbon emissions in public transport.

Cllr Fender added: “Our zero carbon commitment and Ticket to Kyoto partnership show we are serious about making a difference – and T2K has helped us invest in some really innovative green projects.

“Beyond the partnership, we’re also doing what we can to show leadership in cutting transport-related emissions, which account for around 30 per cent of Greater Manchester’s carbon footprint. Metrolink is the first UK tram system to run on green energy – and we’re on our way to having 280 green hybrid and electric buses on the road – more than anywhere in the UK outside London.

“These are just a few high profile examples of our work, which extends to making all our bus stations and offices greener.”

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority agreed a Climate Change Strategy for Greater Manchester in 2011, setting a target of a reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 of 48% from 1990 levels. Longer term national targets require a reduction of 80% by 2050.

Cllr Fender added: “Traffic emissions also contribute directly to local public health concerns, which were highlighted last week by Public Health England’s identification of Greater Manchester as the area with the highest levels of premature death in the country.

“We want everyone in Greater Manchester to play their part in improving the air we all breathe through greener travel. Walking and cycling are good for you as well as the environment, and choosing public transport also reduces the overall emissions impact of travel.”

As the UK partner for the European Union’s major Ticket to Kyoto environmental project, TfGM is working with partners in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands to reduce carbon emissions in public transport.

This project has already resulted in innovative green schemes, including the wind turbine providing power at Bolton’s popular Horwich Parkway railway station.

And Rochdale’s new interchange will be the first in Europe to be powered through on-site hydroelectricity when it opens later this year, thanks to a micro hydro power station on the River Roch.

Manchester is hosting the annual T2K Transport and Sustainability conference on Thursday 20 June, to share learning and best practice in reducing carbon emissions, and will formally unveil its zero carbon ambition.

Professor Colin Hughes, Associate Director for Sustainability at the University of Manchester will give the keynote address at the event, which is taking place at Manchester Conference Centre.

At a series of workshops delegates will explore energy production and efficiency, joint working to achieve carbon reductions, reducing carbon by encouraging more sustainable travel choices, and achieving economic benefits through more sustainable public transport. 

More information about T2K can be found at www.tfgm.com/t2k

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