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Greater Manchester launches 'carbon-neutral' industrial strategy

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Greater Manchester CA has put an ambition to become carbon neutral by 2038 at the heart of its industrial strategy which is due to be launched later today.

The strategy contains the UK’s first city-region ‘Clean Growth Mission’ and also includes goals to grow the region’s economy in advanced manufacturing, health and care innovation, creative and digital industries. The target is 12 years ahead of the prime minister’s goal for national carbon neutrality by 2050, announced yesterday.

As well as economic ambitions, the strategy also contains commitments to improving population health and extending healthy life expectancy.

Greater Manchester is the second areas in the country to agree a local industrial strategy with government, after West Midlands CA announced its own strategy last month which highlighted its ambitions to develop the next generation of batteries for electric vehicles.

The Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc (Oxfordshire LEP, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Business Board, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP and South East Midlands LEP) is also expected to launch its local industrial strategy this year. 

These industrial strategies are led by mayoral combined authorities and LEPs to promote the coordination of local economic policy and national funding streams and establish new ways of working between national and local government, and the public and private sectors.

The strategy is being officially launched this afternoon by Greater Manchester CA mayor Andy Burnham (Lab), his deputy and Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese (Lab) and business secretary Greg Clark.

Mr Burnham described the strategy as “another step on our devolution journey” and claimed that Greater Manchester led the first industrial revolution, and is now in a position to lead the fourth - a claim also made by West Midlands CA mayor Andy Street when launching his region’s strategy. Mr Burnham added: “This bold and innovative joint plan between Greater Manchester and the government puts Greater Manchester back as an industrial and social pioneer.

“We want to be the UK’s leading green city-region, which is why our ambition to achieve carbon neutral living in by 2038 is right at the heart of these plans.”

The Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy is underpinned by the findings of a review produced earlier this year by an independent panel, the Greater Manchester Independent Prosperity Review, which identified a set of barriers the city-region must address to improve its economic performance, including population health, education and skills, infrastructure and transport capacity. It also highlighted the need to boost productivity in Greater Manchester, which currently falls behind other leading European city regions such as Barcelona, Munich, and Helsinki-Uusimaa. 


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