Manchester think-tank highlights rising business emissions

Manchester: A Certain Future (MACF), the think-tank set up to help achieve the city’s emissions reduction targets, has warned that rising emissions from businesses are one of the biggest threats to progress.  
Using the latest local authority emissions data for 2012 from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), MACF have calculated that Manchester's emissions increased by more than the national average in 2012, subsequently meaning that the city’s emissions have only fallen by 10.2 per cent between 2005 and 2012. 
This is 2.2 per cent less than the think-tank’s initial estimate published in its annual monitoring report earlier in June.
The new figures suggest that Manchester is on a trajectory towards a 22.6 per cent reduction in emissions on 2005 levels by 2020, only just over half of its 41 per cent target. 
‘Off course’
Commenting on the figures, Gavin Elliot, chair of the MACF steering group, said: “Clearly this is very disappointing news, but perhaps not entirely unexpected. 
“We knew from our projections in the Annual Report that we were not on track to meet the 41 per cent 2020 CO2 target, and what the official DECC data now shows is that we are even further off course than we had feared.”
Sector emissions
According to MACF’s figures, the business sector is responsible for nearly half (46 per cent) of Manchester’s emissions, followed by the domestic sector (32 per cent) and transport (22 per cent).
While emissions from transport fell by 1.5 per cent in 2012, both domestic and business emissions have risen. 
Despite less electricity being used in households in 2012 than in 2011, Manchester's domestic emissions rose, in line with the national average, due in part to the increasing use of coal for electricity generation at the national scale. 
Meanwhile, emissions from the business sector jumped by 10 per cent on 2011 figures, twice the national average. 
‘Challenge to businesses’
Ali Abbas, chair of MACF’s CO2 monitoring group, said: “We hope [the new figures] will serve as both a timely reminder to the business sector of the crucial role it has to play in helping the city to meet its carbon reduction targets, and a challenge to businesses to take action to become more energy efficient and realise the cost savings that can be achieved from doing so.”
According to a 2008 Deloitte report, transitioning to a low carbon economy represents a £21 billion opportunity for Manchester between 2008 and 2020.
ENWORKS supports Greater Manchester SMEs making the low carbon transition through the Green Growth service, one of a number of business support programmes provided by the Business Growth Hub. For more information, visit the Green Growth website or email

Posted under Climate Change and What it Means to You on 2 September 2014