Climate Change

Climate change is real and is already being felt across Trafford with increasing incidents of extreme weather. The severe storms, flood warnings and unusually high summer temperatures, all seen recently, show our atmosphere is altering at a fast pace. Urgent action is needed, which is why addressing the climate crisis is one of the Council’s Corporate Priorities.

Our best chance of halting the signs of global warming is to work together to be more carbon neutral. So what’s our plan to achieve this and what’s been done so far to tackle our climate emergency?

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Trafford’s Climate Emergency

Trafford Council declared a Climate Emergency on 28 November 2018, committing to tackle climate change and work towards carbon neutrality for Trafford as an area as well as for the Council by 2038.

Carbon neutral action plan

A Carbon Neutral Action Plan was approved by Trafford Executive in December 2020. This plan contains measures that will reduce the borough carbon footprint and put us on a pathway to carbon neutrality by 2038, and in doing so, help to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities, our environment, and our economy. The action plan was reviewed and refreshed by the Trafford Climate Emergency & Air Quality Commission in June 2023, the refreshed version can be found under Action Plan Refresh.

The action plan aims for carbon neutrality by 2038, aligned with the GM 5 Year Environment Plan and overseen by a cross-sectoral Trafford Climate Emergency and Air Quality Commission.

Action plan themes and our progress so far

Governance, engagement and collaboration

  • Established the Trafford Climate Emergency & Air Quality Commission. This is a Trafford cross sector partnership charged with responsibility for developing, delivering and monitoring the Carbon Neutral Action Plan.
  • The Council has member representation on the Green City Region Partnership Board, supporting Greater Manchester 5 year Environmental Plan.
  • Trafford Council held a Citizens Panel on 30 November 2021, this involved over 30 voluntary residents selected to match the Borough’s demographic profile. The outcomes have been used to develop the Carbon Neutral Action Plan.
  • We are working with Trafford Community Collective to strengthen the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise sector, enabling it to fulfil its potential in helping our communities Address the Climate Crisis.
  • Launched Carbon Literacy programme, providing Council staff and Councillors with the information needed to address the Climate Crisis and create individual action plans.
  • Council reports now include specific considerations of carbon reduction, ensuring this is factored into the decision making process across all services and departments.

Production and consumption of resources

  • Improving household Recycling & Composting and launching a Food for Thought Campaign helping residents to reduce waste and make savings on household food bills.
  • Trafford is the first borough in Greater Manchester to install borough-wide “Recycling on the Go” on-street trio bins allowing recycling of litter in public spaces.
  • We have included environmental social value weighting in all procurement decisions.

Transport and travel

  • Working with Be.EV, we are installing Electric Vehicle Charge Points in our car parks with six locations and 20 chargers in Phase 1 and we are on track to install circa 90 charge points by the end of 2022.
  • Trafford has an EV charging hub on the A56 in Stretford, the largest in Greater Manchester.
  • The Council is currently developing a Walking and Cycling Strategy.
  • The Council is delivering a range of Cycling and Walking Infrastructure.
  • Improvements reducing the need to travel by car and promoting active lifestyles.
  • We have introduced 16 new electric vehicles to our fleet, cutting carbon and air quality emissions.
  • Trafford Council has provided Electric Bikes for Adults Health & Social Care staff to enable ultra low carbon journeys where appropriate.
  • Urmston Active Neighbourhood is improving street lighting, restricting motor vehicles at various locations, creating school streets, maintaining cycle lanes, footpaths and much more.
  • Established a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Longford.
  • We have set up six school streets that temporarily close roads outside schools to encourage families to travel actively whilst increasing safety and cutting carbon.
  • Trafford Council is enhancing spaces for pedestrians and cyclists across the borough, to enable people to keep their distance for safe essential journeys and exercise during the coronavirus lockdown and through recovery.
  • We are key partners within the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan cleaning up the air our residents breathe in a way that helps people to make the change to cleaner vehicles and does not put jobs, livelihoods and businesses at risk.

Heat and energy

  • A Local Area Energy Plan has been carried out to define the extent of the transformation needed across Trafford as well as a focus on identifying first steps to progress. It provides a robust evidence base and plan to help engage businesses and citizens in accelerating towards the carbon neutral goal.
  • Trafford Council has undertaken a Trafford Park Low Carbon study, creating a roadmap detailing how Trafford Park can transform into a net zero carbon business location and ensuring is continued attraction to jobs, industry and commerce.
  • Heat Network studies have been undertaken to identify opportunities to distribute low carbon heat across Trafford Park and the Civic Quarter. Further work is planned to develop these opportunities during 2022/23.

Natural environment

  • We are working with The Friends of Longford Park, The Environment Partnership, City of Trees and a range of other partners to develop a vision and masterplan for Longford Park that will guide the restoration and improvement of the park’s key assets and facilities; support our climate emergency response; reconnect people with heritage and nature and secure the park’s long term sustainable management.
  • Complimenting the Trafford Park Low Carbon work, Trafford Council has also explored where Green Infrastructure such as trees, edible plants and green roofs can be installed across the Trafford Park to improve air quality, sustainable urban drainage, encourage active travel and create space for recreation.
  • We are also working with the Greater Manchester Environment Fund to deliver Greater Manchester’s ambition for a “clean, carbon-neutral, climate resilient city region with a thriving natural environment.
  • We have eliminated the use of Glyphosate from all but essential uses where alternative options are not possible.
  • We have reduced the frequency of grass verge cuttings and increased the planting of wildflower meadows across borough to enhance biodiversity.
  • In 2020/21 Trafford Council planted 11,875 trees in partnership with City of Trees.

Skills and green growth

  • We are exploring opportunities with Manchester Inward Investment Agency to encourage green growth (e.g. investment via Green Growth Grant Scheme and Additional Restriction Scheme) as part of the Inclusive Recovery Plan.
  • We are actively encouraging sign up to the Growth Hub’s Green Business Pledge. This is free to sign up to, and gives businesses some ideas of actions they can take to reduce their environmental impact and grow their business.
  • The Council is also using its apprenticeship levy to fund apprenticeships in the green growth sector in Trafford.

Homes, workplaces and buildings

  • Trafford Council is installing a range of low carbon energy improvements (Heat Pumps, Solar Panels & ultra-efficient Lighting) across Public Buildings including schools, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 500 tonnes per year. Trafford Council has secured £4.9m Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme grant for further work to cut emissions from Altrincham and Urmston leisure centres.
  • We are working with GMCA and partners to support our residents in Home Energy Efficiency and Cutting Carbon. We have set up a Local Energy Advice Programme which is a free energy and money saving advice service to help households save money and to keep homes warm and cosy.
  • In partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority we have launched the Your Home Better service offering a whole house approach for residents wishing to install measures for a more energy efficient, healthier and comfortable home.
  • We have enhanced existing planning requirements that will improve sustainability such as Electric Vehicle Charge Points and Cycle Storage on new build homes.
  • We will develop new low carbon planning policies as part of the emerging Local Plan that will support the Borough’s target of becoming a Net Zero Borough by 2038.

How we are doing

Trafford Council is monitoring the implementation of its Carbon Neutral Action Plan with key performance indicators embedded with our Corporate Plan.

See Trafford’s Data Lab to view Trafford Borough’s performance against the indicators.

How to get involved

The climate crisis cannot be tackled by one person alone. However, we can all play our part from changing the food that we eat to how we get around.

As an individual

As a business

  • Sign up to the Business Growth Hub’s Green Business Pledge. This is free to sign up to, and gives businesses some ideas of actions they can take to reduce their environmental impact and grow their business. Businesses who sign up will receive a certificate they can use to promote their green credentials.
  • If you have a small or medium-sized business in Greater Manchester, you may be eligible for an Energy Efficiency Grant of between £1,000 and £2,500 from the Business Growth Hub, to help with up to 50% of the costs of your energy efficiency improvements.
  • Set up a Cycle to Work Scheme and encourage your staff to travel sustainably whilst saving tax for themselves and your business.
  • Arup, Groundwork and Siemens have been commissioned by Trafford Council to undertake research to ascertain how Trafford Park can address the challenges of net-zero, rising energy prices, transport congestion and the quality of the environment on Trafford Park. The Greening Trafford Park Framework and Low Carbon Trafford Park Frameworks set out their findings and actions that could be taken to address these challenges.

Learn more