Our Objectives and Targets

Our objectives and targets for 2020-25 cover:

  1. Staying within our carbon budgets
  2. Climate adaptation and resilience
  3. Health and wellbeing
  4. Inclusive, zero carbon and climate resilient economy


We set them based on analysis and recommendations from our expert partners, including those in our independent advisory groups


1) Staying Within Our Carbon Budgets

Manchester is responsible for three main types of CO2 emissions: 

  • Direct CO2 emissions
  • Aviation CO2 emissions
  • Indirect / consumption-based CO2 emissions


Our objective is:

To ensure that Manchester plays its full part in helping to meet the Paris Agreement objectives by keeping our direct CO2 emissions within a limited carbon budget, taking commensurate action on aviation CO2 emissions and addressing our indirect / consumption-based carbon emissions.


Direct CO2 emissions sub-objective:

To emit a maximum of 15 million tonnes CO2 from our homes, workplaces and ground transport from 2018. We will reduce our direct CO2 emissions by at least 50% between 2020-25. In line with this budget we will emit:

  • A maximum of 6.9 million tonnes during 2018-22, and
  • A maximum of 3.6 million tonnes during 2023-27


Aviation CO2 emissions sub-objective:

We want the emissions from all flights from Manchester Airport to be fully aligned with the Paris Agreement. We believe this means operating within a limited carbon budget for UK aviation, as part of a wider international budget.


Indirect / consumption-based CO2 emissions sub-objective:

To better understand the broader climate change impact of the city’s consumption of goods and services and take action to develop more sustainable consumption practices for the city’s residents and organisations.


The Manchester Zero Carbon Advisory Group was established in 2019 to help ensure that Manchester's carbon reduction commitments are in line with the latest science and the Paris Agreement. In late-2019/early-2020 the Group supported a review of Manchester's climate change objectives and targets by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Further information and the Tyndall Centre's 2020 reports are available here. The 2020 review builds on work in 2018 to help Manchester to adopt its original set of science-based targets. Information on the 2018 work is available here.


2) Climate Adaptation and Resilience


Our objective is:

To adapt the city’s buildings, infrastructure and natural environment to the changing climate and to increase the climate resilience of our residents and organisations.

The Manchester Climate Adaptation and Resilience Advisory Group was established in early 2020 to guide our effort in developing informed targets on resilience and adaptation, to identify how action across the city might be supported, and to make recommendations regarding how progress can be monitored and evaluated.

The first part of this work involved advising on the drafting of a framework to understand the city’s climate vulnerabilities the full report is available here. A related post, partly summarising the report, is here.

This work is on-going. Throughout 2021 and early 2022 work will continue to develop a framework to guide the city’s objective to become more climate resilient, including the development of case studies on climate adaptation.


3) Health and Wellbeing


Our objective is:

To improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in Manchester through actions that also contribute to our objectives for CO2 reduction and adaption and resilience, with particular focus on those most in need.


An independent advisory group will be established in partnership with the Manchester Health and Wellbeing Board in 2020, to monitor progress against this objective.


4) Inclusive, Zero Carbon and Climate Resilient Economy


Our objective is:

To ensure that Manchester establishes an inclusive, zero carbon and climate resilient economy where everyone can benefit from playing an active role in decarbonising and adapting the city to the changing climate.


An independent advisory group will be established in partnership with the Manchester Work and Skills Board in 2020, to monitor progress against this objective.


Progress Reports

Reports on progress against these objectives will be available in our annual reports.