Case Study 24: Manchester is my Planet Programme

May 26, 2009

CB_Case24.jpgCity-regional programme to combat climate change

2005-, Manchester



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Summary of the case

The programme was initiated by Manchester: Knowledge Capital, which is now responsible for its ongoing management. Manchester is my Planet’s entire programme of activity is driven by a focused and well con-sidered strategy developed in 2005 by a consortium of organisations led by Quantum Strategy & Technol-ogy.

The Manchester: Green Energy Revolution feasibility study - which later became the Manchester is my Planet programme - was the product of a considered, pioneering and exciting stakeholder engagement proc-ess involving hundreds of people and organisations from across Manchester and the Northwest. Manchester is my Planet is about this city-region’s response to the threat; it’s about Manchester playing its part in the global picture. To best capture this region’s aspiration to lead the way in tackling climate change,

Manchester is my Planet’s aims are:

  1. To deliver and facilitate the delivery of projects and processes that can move Manchester along the path to a low-carbon future, and help the UK to meet the Government target of reducing CO2 emissions by around 30% before 2020, and 60% before 2050.
  2. To do this in a way that improves life quality, contributes to the social and economic prosperity of the city-region, and enhances Manchester’s image as a shining light of sustainable living and working. The key strands of activity underpin the city-region’s actions towards a sustainable and low carbon future.

Parts of Europe, such as Scandinavia, are leading the way in sustainable energy and low-carbon innovations on a city-region scale. The initial feasibility study drew knowledge from key successes of our European counterparts. The research findings allowed the following guidelines to be put in place for the Manchester is my Planet programme. For:

  • Long term political frameworks and policies to be put in place (and democratically approved) at a local level
  • Local plans to be developed (and politically approved)
  • Decision making to happen at a local level
  • Awareness raising and public acceptance issues to be addressed
  • Available financing for both R&D and Capital projects to be identified.
  • Local organisations to be identified to promote/initiate projects
  • The benefits in terms of jobs and regional economy to be identified
  • Local participation and ownership to be encouraged

In the three years since it’s inception Manchester is my Planet has achieved a great deal. This has included a wide range of feasibility and pilot projects, successful bids to the EU (for a City-Regional Energy Planning Project, and behavioural change action-research project), initiating a major piece of research into the eco-nomic impacts of climate change legislation and a city-regional awareness and pledge campaign with sign-up of over 20,000 citizens.

In terms of behavioural change the Manchester is my Planet programme has sought to change the thinking and actions of politicians, local authorities and private sector partners as well as the citizens of Greater Man-chester.

The enormity of the challenge of climate change and ambition of Manchester is my Planet has always out-stripped the resources available. Manchester is my Planet is now supporting colleagues in the shaping of a proposed Climate Change Agency for the city region, which promises to bring additional resources and rede-fined focus needed to mainstream the agenda with private sector partners.