Manchester joins Race to Zero

Manchester pledges its commitment in the Race to Zero by 2038.

Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, has signed a cities pledge that outlines the actions Manchester will take to meet its environmental targets in its Race to Zero.

On behalf of the city of Manchester, the pledge is a public endorsement of a set of principles set out in the Race to Zero – a campaign to mobilise support for cities and businesses to make the transition to net zero by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement.

Manchester is pledging to follow and endorse the environmental principles, originally developed by C40 – a network of the world’s major cities committed to addressing climate change – as part of the Race to Zero campaign, led by the United Nations.

The city is aiming to reach net zero by 2038 at the latest – twelve years before the targets set in the Paris Agreement.

The Race to Zero principles include that the city must recognise the global climate emergency. Manchester declared a climate emergency in June 2019. The city has been taking action to combat the effects of climate change for a number of years through targeted initiatives.

The city is committed to keep global heating below the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement. Manchester was one of the first cities in the world to set climate change targets in line with the Paris Agreement.

Alongside this, Manchester puts inclusive climate action at the heart of its urban decision-making. For example, Manchester’s Strategic Frameworks incorporate zero carbon objectives.

Manchester joins a global network of hundreds of cities, businesses and universities who are pledging the Race to Zero. All participants must submit a road map of how they will meet the targets required.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The council is taking the climate emergency extremely seriously. We have set out a plan for how we intend to halve the carbon emissions, which the council is directly responsible for in the next five years alone and lead by example towards the city's overall goal of becoming zero carbon by 2038 or earlier. 

"It's a challenging target but one we are determined the city will succeed. We will continue to work closely with partners to make this happen and encourage Manchester people, business and other organisations to play their part and join us on this journey." 

Manchester Climate Change Partnership (MCCP) was set up in 2018 bringing together a wide range of stakeholders from some of the city’s leading organisations to work together in partnership on solutions to tackle the climate emergency.

The role of the partnership is to work with the wider community to ensure that Manchester develops and implements a climate change strategy that is consistent with the Paris Agreement.

Manchester Climate Change Agency (MCCA) a not-for-profit organisation, established in 2015 to drive forward the city’s climate change agenda, supports the partnership’s work.

Chair of the Manchester Climate Change Agency, Mike Wilton, said: “The Race to Zero is a important global campaign, and Manchester Climate Change Partnership is very pleased that Manchester has signed the cities pledge. Manchester has clearly set out its ambitions to be a Zero Carbon city, and is clear about both the need for us to make our contribution to the global challenge, but also the benefits to our city that will result."

In Manchester the Partnership has already started on the Race to Zero. Our partners are already taking real actions that are making a difference and are working to involve all Manchester people, organisations, and businesses on this journey.”

In March this year Manchester City Council endorsed the Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25 that outlines recommendations to meet the targets of net zero emissions by 2038 at the latest.


The framework is based on evidence from The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at The University of Manchester. The Tyndall Centre was commissioned in 2018 by MCCP and MCCA to review Manchester’s climate change targets.