More than ten thousand people who live or work in Greater Manchester have pledged to help reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent before 2010, as part of a city-wide campaign on climate change, entitled 'Manchester is my Planet (MIMP)'.
Campaign organisers have estimated the amount of carbon dioxide savings pledged by Mancunians so far equals around 22,400 tonnes per year - that's enough CO2 to fill more than 20,000 hot air balloons, or 15 billion empty wine bottles.
With support from a host of universities, large companies, radio stations and major sports clubs, eco-friendly citizens have taken the MIMP pledge via the campaign's website, www.manchesterismyplanet.com or by text message, through postcards and at street-level events that have taken place during September and October.
To help them on their low-energy way, each pledger has received a campaign pack including low-energy advice, promo stickers and even a 'let's lick climate change' lollipop.
Celebrity pledgers supporting the campaign include Dr Who star Christopher Ecclestone, Manchester City footballer David James, athlete Diane Modahl, ITV and Granada presenter Fred Talbot and Coronation Street's William Roache MBE (Ken Barlow).
The Manchester is my Planet campaign is being run by Manchester: Knowledge Capital and supported by organisations that include Manchester City Council and the city region's other nine local authorities.
A conference is being held today (November 1) in central Manchester, where the partnership behind the campaign will unveil a further set of future project ideas, that range from a 'green badge' parking scheme to promote electric or hybrid vehicles to a 'circle of wind' made up of wind turbines installed alongside the M60 orbital motorway.
Cathy Garner, Chief Executive of Manchester: Knowledge Capital, which is leading the campaign, said: "The 'Manchester is my Planet' campaign has really captured the imagination of people across Manchester. To get 10,000 people pledging to reduce their energy use in just two months of campaigning is an amazing start and shows everyone that people in Manchester are really committed to making a difference to the global challenge of climate change."
The MIMP conference is being held at Manchester Town Hall and coincides with a government-led G8 event on climate change as well as the launch of a government-sponsored EU conference on energy efficiency, at which the importance of 'citizen's action' will be a particular focus.
The Manchester is my Planet climate change pledge is part of a wider programme of green energy improvements and developments across the Manchester city region, which includes new transport improvements, green building schemes, tackling energy use in office and potentially a circle of wind turbines alongside the M60.
© People & the Planet 2000 - 2006