Supporting green growth is a priority within the Economic Vision for Greater Manchester. The launch of North West Net Zero underlined the ambition to create new jobs and skills and achieve a low carbon economy across the region that can support UK economic growth.
Leaders from politics, business, and energy infrastructure providers in the North West have launched an ambitious vision to become a UK leader in tackling the climate emergency and boosting a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
As the UK prepares to host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November, the North West Net Zero: The Road to Cop 26 event outlined the wide-ranging measures already being taken to accelerate progress to net zero in the North West by at least 2040 – at least 10 years ahead of the national target.
Among regional leaders at the launch was Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, a GM LEP board member, who said decarbonisation need not be a burden but an opportunity to create the new jobs and industries that would necessary to support economic recovery as we emerge from the pandemic.
He said: “Today is about showing the power and potential of a whole region pulling in the same direction to tackle the climate emergency. Together, we hope to build a movement to make the North West the country’s leading force in the zero-carbon economy.
“If we get serious now about the climate crisis, it will also help us tackle the post-pandemic jobs crisis. There are tens of thousands of good green jobs just waiting to be created across the North West – in retrofitting our buildings, modernising our energy systems, and decarbonising our transport. Now is absolutely the time to make that happen.
“We are outlining our vision to achieve a net zero North West by at least 2040 – 10 years ahead of the national target. Benchmarks like these not only give us something to aim at – they also demand meaningful commitments and urgent action. All of us gathered today are already taking that action, working together and developing detailed energy and environment plans for our places which can meet our collective ambitions.
“Come November, when all eyes are on the COP26 in Glasgow, we want to show the world that the North West of England is ready once again to lead an industrial revolution – this time a green one.”
Other speakers included:
- Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region
- Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader, Cheshire West and Chester Council, and Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership Board Member
- Carl Ennis, Chief Executive of Siemens plc and Chair of Net Zero North West
- Peter Emery, Chief Executive Officer, Electricity North West Limited
- Steve Fraser, Chief Executive Officer, Cadent Ltd
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“The existential threat of the climate crisis is the greatest challenge facing our generation and we will only succeed if we tackle it together, using our respective strengths.
“Our region is becoming synonymous with green technology and jobs and I’m passionate about making the Liverpool City Region the UK’s renewable energy coast.
“We have a full range of energy options here – offshore wind in Liverpool Bay has helped make the UK the largest producer of wind power in Europe; we are at the forefront of hydrogen production and distribution; and are piloting its use as an alternative fuel for domestic, industrial and transport.
“With Government support our Mersey Tidal Power Project – delivering predictable, green reliable energy – can play an important role in the UK’s future energy mix.
“The way in which we can bounce back quickly from the Coronavirus crisis is to build our economic recovery on the opportunities offered by the green industrial revolution. For all of our futures, we must not fail.”
Carl Ennis, Chief Executive of Manchester-based Siemens and chair of Net Zero North West said that plans include a goal to accelerate investment for industrial decarbonisation.
He added: “We believe we can create 33,000 jobs and unlock £4bn investment for the North West – we can be at the forefront of decarbonisation. This isn’t only about new jobs and new skills, but also about safeguarding the jobs and industries we already have.”
Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, and Board Member of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said:
“We know that the climate crisis does not respect local boundaries, nor does business and economic opportunity. If we are to achieve our ambitions, we need to take a collaborative approach that builds on all the skills and expertise available to us, and the North West is a leading example of this type of collaboration beginning to deliver real change.”
Go to https://gmlep.com/economicvision to find out more about Greater Manchester’s Economic Vision.