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Carbon Literacy at the GM Green Summit

October 2021 by Lucia Simmons

The fourth Greater Manchester Green Summit, held on Monday 18th October 2021, saw the city’s leaders come together with climate leading individuals and organisations to discuss Greater Manchester’s plan to tackle climate change and remove 100 million tonnes of carbon from the local economy.

Carbon Literacy featured in many of the inspiring speeches throughout the day…

Zamzam Ibrahim, Vice President of European Students Union and Co-Founder of Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS) UK, started the series of speeches by calling on the people of Greater Manchester to “get to work” in building the future they want for their city: “We, the people of Greater Manchester, must implement changes that serve us and our communities”.

SOS UK have long recognised the opportunity Carbon Literacy presents for individuals, communities and organisations to mobilise climate action in their personal and professional lives. SOS UK have a track record of delivering Carbon Literacy training to the Higher and Further Education sectors. In the run up to COP26, their national Carbon Literacy course for Students’ Unions and Students’ Associations, has equipped staff, students and officers from multiple locations and disciplines with the skills to mobilise climate action.

Carbon Literacy certified Climate Activist and Youth MP for Bury, Emma Greenwood, was another speaker to highlight that, “…everyone has a role to play in taking climate action”. Emma also took the opportunity to point out that, while Greater Manchester’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2038 is the most ambitious target for climate neutrality in the UK, “it won’t be met without the [Greater Manchester] Combined Authority, councils, and companies across Greater Manchester coming together”.

Equipping everyone with the tools & knowledge to take action…

Thanks to funding from The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) via The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), our Carbon Literacy Toolkits for Local Authorities have equipped authorities with the resources to support their local communities to reduce carbon emissions and work cohesively towards carbon neutrality.

On the topic of business, Peter Emery, CEO of Electricity North West: a Bronze (and soon-to-be Silver) accredited Carbon Literate Organisation, encouraged companies to carry out Carbon Literacy training, as one of six recommendations presented for businesses to commit to tackling the climate crisis.

“[Carbon Literacy] educates your workforce and increases commitment”, he stated, adding that; as a result of Carbon Literacy training, their workforce now ask management: ‘What more can we do?’. This is important, Peter says, because, “…if we’re going to make progress, we need a bottom-up push as much as a top-down drive of leadership”.

Including the next generation of leaders…

Liz Price, Professor of Environmental Education at Manchester Metropolitan University, also pinpointed Carbon Literacy as a key tool for delivering the skills for a greener future.

Since 2012, Man Met Uni have delivered Carbon Literacy to students, staff, and the wider community – including businesses, organisations and education providers – both nationally and internationally. They have witnessed first-hand that Carbon Literacy “…delivers effective climate education and empowers people to take the necessary actions to combat climate change and its impacts.”

As a legacy to COP26, Man Met Uni now want to deliver their sector-leading and award-winning Carbon Literacy accredited training programme to as many people as possible – starting with organisations throughout Greater Manchester. If this is you, you are encouraged to get in touch with Man Met Uni to learn how training can be tailored to your organisation’s needs.

The upcoming summit

As conversations turned to COP26, and what is set to be the most decisive fortnight for climate action to date, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham shared a message of hope:

“People will look back at this post-pandemic period and think, that was the change point.”

With COP26, and our own Carbon Literacy Action Day now little more than a week away, we too are confident that this is the case.

If you want to learn how Carbon Literacy can help you to be a part of this critical period of climate action, get in touch at info@carbonliteracy.com.

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