Groundhog Day again: Greater #Manchester #climate working groups “Five Year Plans” etc

After last week’s soul-destroying powerpoint, MCFly gets sight of an email from the “Low Carbon Hub” (which used to be called the “Environment Commission” – almost ten years ago Manchester Climate Fortnightly was reporting on its uselessness).

The email (you can see the whole thing at the end of this blog post) invites people to take part in working groups which will produce draft plans which will….

Oh, come on, we all know the score by now.  Five Year Plans (I kid you not).  As someone said on seeing this

Same old, same old – with Slack thrown in for extra collaborative effect! Now with an online discussion forum, people can share ideas about movement towards a plan building on the new strategy not only face to face and in vacuous documents like this, but also digitally! Brilliant!

There are two basic questions that the people behind this latest farcical offering won’t answer

a)  Doesn’t this imply that, um,  You. Haven’t. Actually. Been. Doing. Anything. For. The. Last. Ten. Years?

b) How come you’ve not contacted the people who attended this year’s Mayor’s Green Vomit, sorry, Summit, to invite them to participate?  Because other people besides me (I’m on your blacklist, for unfathomable reasons), who did get to go, have heard diddly-squat from you lot.

If this were not so tragically serious, it would actually be funny.  Still, it keeps some middle-class activists calm, and keeps some academics in REF-able ‘activity’ (as opposed to, you know, action).  Meanwhile – and this is not hyperbole – we enter the last decade in which we even have a snowball’s chance of pretending to prepare for the (now almost certainly unavoidable) cataclysm.  But our powerpoints and five year plans will protect us. Oh yes.

Here’s that email. Read it and weep.


Sent: 03 October 2018 13:32
Subject: Green Summit – Working Group Invitation


A few weeks ago, the Greater Manchester’s Springboard to a Green City Region report was published. This report summarised the feedback and learning from the 2018 Green Summit as well as feedback from listening events, and it sets out the first steps we are taking this year.

One of those steps was to establish online working groups that will help develop detailed delivery and investment proposals focusing on key actions that should be taken forward in the near term. These online working groups, along with other key actions highlighted at the 2018 Green Summit, will come together into a 5-year plan. 

We are currently planning three working groups – with a focus on Energy, Buildings and Sustainable Consumption and Production (Incl Circ Econom, food etc) Green Summit actions that need evidencing.   This work will build upon the evidence gathered from the Green Summit. We are proposing that each working group will help us to focus on developing a few business cases based on the Springboard Report, that can be used to identify how we will deliver key actions. 

We hope that the working groups will help create these business cases through two `in person’ meetings and an online workspace. The `in person meetings’ will take place at the GMCA office at Churchgate House on 56 Oxford Road at the following times:

  • Energy group: Monday 29 Oct. 4-6pm
  • Buildings group: Wednesday 31 Oct. 4-6pm
  • Sustainable Consumption & Production group: Thursday 1 Nov. 4-6pm

We have chosen these times to also attract people who can only attend at the end of a working day.

Each group will have an online workspace in Slack – a mobile and web based tool that is a cross between email and WhatsApp. Click here to join the GMCA Slack group. This weblink will prompt you to create an account so you can join Slack. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll automatically be directed the GMCA Environment Team Slack page. At the first `in person’ meeting, we’ll discuss Slack and how it will be used to augment the working group’s efforts.

Finally, please find attached to this email a one-page brief that provides background for the working groups, what we hope the groups will delivery and a timeline of activities.

We would appreciate your participation in the workgroups and hope you will join us at one of the relevant launch meeting in a few weeks.  Can you please confirm by return if you are able to attend one of the three sessions and, if so, which one.

Best regards,

Mark Atherton

Asst Director Environment


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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