Coun­cil leader joins North­ern For­est bid

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

MANCH­ESTER coun­cil leader Sir Richard Leese is among the sig­na­to­ries to an open let­ter to the prime min­is­ter ask­ing for sup­port and com­mit­ment to the plan which would see 50 mil­lion trees planted over the next 25 years in the north of Eng­land by the Wood­land Trust and their part­ners.

The for­est will span 120 miles, con­nect­ing Manch­ester with Liver­pool and Lan­caster in the west and Sh­effield, Leeds and Hull to the east, ben­e­fit­ing 13 mil­lion res­i­dents and gen­er­at­ing £2.5 bil­lion in so­cial, eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits.

It would ab­sorb up to 7.5m tonnes of car­bon.

The let­ter, which is signed by more than 120 north­ern lead­ers and MPs from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, asks for the Prime Min­is­ter’s com­mit­ment to de­liver the North­ern For­est and look at op­por­tu­ni­ties that sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of green in­vest­ment mod­els.

Sir Richard said: “Manch­ester city coun­cil de­clared a cli­mate change emer­gency ear­lier this year and is work­ing on a wide range of ini­tia­tives to en­able the city to achieve its am­bi­tious goal of be­com­ing zero car­bon by 2038. We are bring­ing for­ward an ac­tion plan which will ex­plain how Manch­ester will achieve this am­bi­tious tar­get.

“The North­ern For­est ini­tia­tive, which would help ab­sorb mil­lions of tonnes of car­bon, is en­tirely com­ple­men­tary to that wider goal and some­thing we whole­heart­edly en­dorse.” Darren Moorcroft, CEO of Wood­land Trust, said: “The North­ern For­est rep­re­sents the green lungs of the North­ern Pow­er­house. If we are to tackle the cli­mate and bio­di­ver­sity crises the world faces, in­ter­na­tion­ally significan­t projects like the North­ern For­est must be at the fore­front of bold, am­bi­tious do­mes­tic think­ing.”

Sir Richard Leese

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