Ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s “Environment” “Commission” meeting, where the Climate Change Action Plan STILL won’t be brought forward, we are putting online this article which is an expansion of a squib which appeared in the August issue of MCFly. No satirist would dare make this stuff up, you know – too outlandish.
As we’ve previously written (see here and here), Greater Manchester’s Climate Change Implementation Plan is late. In fact, very late – it was due to be presented in March and yet it month after month it has been stalled for very unclear reasons. The Environment Commission which is the AGMA level group tasked with producing and signing it off has now announced that it will be (hopefully) finalised this December.
We spoke to Todd Holden, who is head of low carbon policy and programming at the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and also works with the GM environment team a couple of days a week, about the delay.
“We were hoping to agree the plan pretty soon but within Manchester there is the Greater Manchester Strategy which is the overall strategy for GM. At the moment that is going through a refresh – not in terms of its headline objectives but how it will achieve these.
“So, two things. This is a great opportunity to influence the GM strategy in terms of climate change and it would be premature to launch an implementation against the current GM Strategy because in four months time that will be out of date. So the implementation plan will be out of date. So we thought we’d park the implementation plan for the moment and when we release the action plan it will reflect the revised GM Strategy and so it will have a longer lifetime and it won’t be out of date as soon as we’ve released it. So that’s the rational behind that.
“Also, some of the projects listed in the implementation plan are quite sensitive and are still ideas that don’t have planning permission yet so clearly how that information is managed is quite a tricky thing to do. So that’s part of the reason for the delay – the main thing is the GM Strategy as it was just too good an opportunity to miss. It’s only a matter of a few months and it’s not stopping anything in terms of getting on with things. None of us are sat around twiddling our thumbs.”
Many readers will think that these are very reasonable reasons for delay. But those same readers are probably also thinking ‘why not just say that in the report then, rather than leave it to journalists to ferret out the facts? Isn’t it important to be, um, transparent?