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Manchester's Environmental Credentials Revealed In Sustainable City Report

Mixed Findings For Manchester As South Outperforms The North


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

A new economic report has revealed a growing North-South divide between UK cities when it comes to environmental sustainability - with Manchester being beaten by locations in the South in terms of lower CO2 emissions per person and zero-emission commuting.

According to UK Powerhouse, a report by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic & Business Research (Cebr), cities in the South have the strongest economies in terms of GVA* and dominate in a number of key indicators relating to sustainability. 

The report says Manchester will be in the top three for job creation in Q1 2021 - the quarter when the transition period in the UK’s current Withdrawal Agreement is set to end. 

It says Manchester’s economy is currently being boosted by being second only to London for being a hotspot for start-ups, but reveals a mixed picture for the city in terms of environmental credentials.  

When it comes to carbon dioxide per capita, the latest figures reveal Manchester has reduced its year on year figure by 6%, putting it in 20th place with a figure of 3.8 kt CO2 per person.

Interestingly, there were however no locations in the North in the top 10 for the lowest CO2 per person.

Manchester appears in the top 10 for the share of low emission transport** at 11%, however it fell to 27th place for share of population using zero emission transport***.  

The report looked at the areas with the highest number of solar panel installations. Manchester had the highest number with 30,100, but the share of households is just 3%.

The 37% proportion of recycled waste placed the city 18th out of all English Powerhouse cities in the report however Stockport was top with 56%.

Expert Opinion
“Manchester performs well in this study when it comes to employment growth in the future, but it was a mixed picture in terms of environmental sustainability.

“Earlier this year, the UK announced its ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the first major economy to do so. It’s important that business recognise not only the important role they have to play, but also the opportunities that exist, particularly with zero carbon being one of the four sectors included in Manchester’s local Industrial Strategy.”

Roy Beckett, Partner

Methodology Note

All forecasts in this report utilise Cebr’s central scenario. Cebr’s central forecasts are based on the assumption that an amended version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement will form the basis of the future UK – EU relationship. We further assume that a transitional arrangement will be put in place that allows a continuation of the current relationship without any major disruptions until at least 2021. On the immigration policy, we rely on the lower immigration population estimates assuming that a visa system will be implemented for EU nationals, but that the requirements (e.g. the minimum salary, the NHS surcharge payment, the application fees, etc.) would be more relaxed than they currently are for non-EU nationals requiring a visa.

*Gross value added

**Low emission transport include travels by bus/coach, national rail and underground. 

***Zero emission transport includes travel by walking or cycling.