Three big conurbations follow London’s lead with action plans to reduce emissions

Bristol, Leeds and Manchester are to follow London in becoming low-carbon cities.

Under the Low Carbon Cities Programme announced by climate change minister Joan Ruddock early last month, the three cities will embark on individually tailored action plans to reduce their emissions by establishing sustainable low-carbon economies.

The plans will be developed in collaboration with the Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust. They include the use of renewable energy and trigeneration, along with energy saving measures and promotion of lifestyle changes such as cycling to work.

Defra will provide £250,000 to enable audits of current emissions for the three cities along with Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield to help identify cost-effective carbon saving opportunities.

The programme will then establish city-wide CO2 baselines, show emission totals and provide detailed breakdowns of where they come from.

Ruddock said: “Creating targeted action plans will help cities achieve a clear path for cutting emissions.

“The Low Carbon Cities Programme will illustrate that meeting the challenge of climate change and building prosperity in our cities can and should go hand in hand.”

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: “We currently work with a third of all local authorities, helping them to cut carbon, and have collaborated with all the key public sector bodies within Bristol, Leeds and Manchester.

“This new programme is the next crucial step in encouraging collaboration and harnessing good practice to ensure coherent city-wide strategies."

  • Ruddock also announced a new programme from the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy to assist cities in taking practical measures to tackle climate change. The council will investigate how policy can be improved to enable the growth of new low-carbon technologies.