Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has committed to becoming carbon neutral; the first UK transport authority to do so.
The organisation has reduced its carbon emissions by 19% over the last three years and says it has a clear path to reach its carbon saving target of 75% by 2018 and is developing plans to be a zero carbon authority by 2033.
TfGM has also launched a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the connection between public transport and carbon emissions.
Part of the Ticket to Kyoto (T2K) partnership, the campaign highlights what TfGM and four other European partners are doing to help reduce carbon emissions in public transport.
Cllr Fender said: “Our zero carbon commitment and T2K partnership show we are serious about making a difference – and T2K has helped us invest in some really innovative green projects.
“We’re also doing what we can to show leadership in cutting transport-related emissions, which account for around 30% of Greater Manchester’s carbon footprint. Metrolink is the first UK tram system to run on green energy – and we’re on our way to having 280 green hybrid and electric buses on the road – more than anywhere in the UK outside London.”
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority agreed a Climate Change Strategy for Greater Manchester in 2011, setting a target of a reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 of 48% from 1990 levels. Longer term national targets require a reduction of 80% by 2050.
As the UK partner for the European Union’s major Ticket to Kyoto environmental project, TfGM is working with partners in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands to reduce carbon emissions in public transport.
This project has already resulted in innovative green schemes, including the wind turbine providing power at Bolton’s popular Horwich Parkway railway station.
Also, Rochdale’s new interchange will be the first in Europe to be powered through on-site hydroelectricity when it opens later this year, thanks to a micro hydro power station on the River Roch.
More information about T2K can be found at www.tfgm.com