Greater #Manchester Low Carbon Hub hasn’t done its Carbon Literacy Training

[UPDATE – if you’re coming here because of a LinkedIn post, please email with the details of it! I am #curious.]

The board of the Greater Manchester “Low Carbon Hub” (LCH), which aims to guide the city to a low carbon future… has not done its “carbon literacy training.”

The LCH has been existence for 5 years (it was known as the “Environment Commission”, before a meaningless rebranding of the type Manchester excels at).  It is allegedly there to drive the low carbon economy, (inward investment mostly, it seems), drive retrofitting of houses (awkward now that the Green Deal has collapsed) and push for a ‘low carbon culture’, including carbon literacy training.

“Carbon Literacy Training” was spruiked in 2009 as one way that Manchester would develop a ‘low carbon culture’. The “Manchester Climate Change Action Plan” of 2009 set a goal that everyone who lived, worked or studied in Manchester (roughly 1 million people) would have received a day’s “Carbon Literacy Training” by the end of 2013.  In mid-2015 it was revealed that so far the number was… 5 thousand. Oops.

Now, an investigation by Manchester Climate Monthly has revealed that, with the exception of the person who co-created “Carbon Literacy”, no-one on the crushingly white Low Carbon Hub board has as yet done the training

We contacted all of the members of the board, via email, twitter of phone call.

The new chair of the Board, Sue Derbyshire, who also leads Stockport Council stated “I hope I remain open to learning new things and in fact enjoy that, however as an individual I am not motivated by completing courses and receiving certification for knowledge, although I acknowledge that has a role for many people and organisations.”

Robin Lawler, chair of Northwards Housing, told us via twitter that he would be completing the training on February 18.

Helen Smith, of TfGM (Transport for Greater Manchester) told us “I am new to the Board and to date have not had the opportunity to undertake the training.  I am on the list for the next opportunity, which I hope will be soon.”

Mark Atherton, who has performed secretariat functions for both the LCH and its predecessor stated that “I can confirm that I have not been blessed with the opportunity for carbon literacy training.”

The following people did not reply to emails sent on 24 January

Steve Rumbelow
Chief Lead Exec

Julian Packer

Anne Selby


Prof Nigel Mellors

University of Salford

Cllr Eunice Smethurst

Cllr Elaine Sherrington

The following people did not reply to twitter messages sent on 29 January

Louise Blythe

BBC Media City


Alison Gordon

New Economy Director of Project Development


The following people’s gatekeepers were contacted and told us (29 January) that  responses would be forthcoming.  At time of publication they have not arrived.

Steve Johnson – CEO of Electricity North West
Roger Milburn – Arup
Paul Maher – Siemens
Ian McAulay – Viridor

MCFly says:

While it’s a good step that the Low Carbon Hub is now having its meetings in public (the previous Chair, someone called ‘Richard Leese’, unilaterally decided the meetings would exclude members of the public) this latest debacle is troubling.

If the Low Carbon Hub is not going to lead by example, why should anyone take it seriously? If the people behind the Carbon Literacy Training can’t even get Manchester City Council and the Low Carbon Hub to do their training, why should we take their claims for a bright future seriously? Srsly?


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
This entry was posted in Low Carbon Hub and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s