Carbon cities: greening up their act


Manchester and London are setting tougher carbon-reduction targets – but is there a danger that lack of consistency between cities will create confusion?

Greater Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham wants to turn the city into one of the greenest in Europe. In March, he set a target to make Greater Manchester carbon neutral by 2040, a decade earlier than previously planned.

Not to be outdone, in May, mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he wanted to make the capital “the greenest global city” and outlined a range of environmental measures covering everything from air pollution to waste reduction. The new commitments show how cities are increasingly taking the lead on environmental matters ahead of central government, which has backtracked on some key green targets in recent years. For example, in 2015, the government scrapped a pledge for all new UK homes to be carbon neutral by 2016.

But is it necessarily a good thing that cities are setting their own targets? And how should the property industry respond?

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