The challenge of reducing carbon emissions and adapting to unavoidable climate change is enormous and will have profound impacts on the region’s business base, people and environment. As power and heavy industry account for 50% of the overall required emission cuts, the need to convert to a low carbon economy presents enormous opportunities to develop and commercialise new energy generation technologies. Legislative change and price factors will provide threats and opportunities for the region’s businesses. There is therefore a need for businesses to adapt to and prepare for a low carbon economy.
- Climate change. There is evidence to suggest that by 2080 winter rainfall is expected to increase by 30% and that sea levels could rise by up to 70cm. The Northwest has 429km of coastline, large sections of which are potentially vulnerable to sea flooding. The annual cost of damage to residential and commercial properties is expected to increase from the current level of £125m to £2.5 billion by the 2080s
- Carbon reduction. The Northwest emitted approximately 60m tonnes of CO2 in 2005 (the most accurate baseline year), an estimated reduction from a 1990 level of 63.64m tonnes. In order to meet the statutory targets within the ClimateChange Act this will need to reduce to below 13m tonnes in 2050, a minimum of 80%. This will require acceleration in the adoption of low carbon solutions, in particular the decarbonisation of the national grid and transport, and increased efficiency of the same. Factoring in our aspirations for economic growth through to 2050, this will mean that the carbon intensity of economic activity will have to reduce by over 95%
- Transport. 75% of people in the Northwest travel to work by car, compared with 71% inGreat Britain overall, although there are 5% fewer car miles per person than inGreat Britain. 18% fewer people use public transport than the national average.ManchesterAirport is the largest regional airport in theUK, and has seen large increases in passenger numbers in recent years, with 24 million passengers per annum
NW Carbon Target Review 2010 (110.8 KB)