As Governments meeting at COP27 are criticised for having climate change policies inadequate to limit global warming, national charity Carbon Copy is urging communities to take the initiative and develop projects that tackle climate change at a grassroots level.
It has highlighted three Manchester projects; People Powered Retrofit, Graphene@Manchester and Bee Network, as inspiring examples of how local projects are tackling climate change.
This is through reducing greenhouse gas emissions, making lifestyles greener and protecting residents from the worst effects of climate change – without having to wait for governments to honour their promises.
People Powered Retrofit is a new ‘One-Stop Shop for Retrofit’ service, a not-for-profit service for householders in Greater Manchester and the North West, offering clear, independent advice and support to help them plan, procure and deliver retrofit projects to a high standard. The result is cold houses becoming cosy, warmer, and healthier homes with reduced energy bills.
Graphene@Manchester is a construction industry that has a huge carbon footprint, contributing 8-10% of global CO2 emissions.
As part of The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, Graphene@Manchester is working with industry partners to develop graphene-enhanced concrete which uses significantly less concrete than usual - reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released during manufacturing and also saving on project costs.
The Bee Network will see Greater Manchester becoming the very first city region in the UK to have an integrated transport system outside of London – linking trams and buses and including the UK’s largest cycling and walking network.
This includes creating 1,800 miles of routes and 2,400 new crossings across the city-region that will make it easier, safer and more attractive for people to walk, cycle or wheel for everyday trips.
These projects were four of just 27 outstanding community-led projects selected by Carbon Copy to form the backbone of the Running Out of Time climate relay route when it passed through the UK.
It was the world’s longest non-stop relay that saw thousands of volunteers run, cycle and sail stretches of the total 7,767km/4,826mile route from Glasgow to Sharm El-Sheikh where COP27 is being held. The volunteers were calling on governments to provide the resources, skills and quality education that communities need to tackle climate change in their locality.
Ric Casale, co-founder and trustee of the charity said:
“These projects are outstanding examples of what communities, companies and partnerships at the local level can and are achieving right now. We want projects like these to inspire other communities and give them the confidence that they can do the same.”
He continued: “Collective local action is too often overlooked in discussions and decision-making about how to address the climate crisis. National projects are too large-scale for the public to get involved and individual action alone is not enough. Community-level action is a vital middle ground where individuals can pool their efforts, knowledge and energy, and together take significant greener and fairer strides quickly.”