07 May 2020
As the effects of climate breakdown become more obvious, it’s essential that we work on solutions both nationally and in our communities. How we build and manage our towns and cities is a crucial part of this, not only because we can actively reduce the climate impact of our transport and energy, but also because we must show national government where our priorities are, what can be done, and how we expect them to echo those nationally and internationally.
Younger generations are counting on today’s leaders to secure their futures.
Metro Mayors, the London Mayor and Combined Authorities have important powers they can use to ensure their regions are as climate friendly as possible. The good news is, we have a plan for how they can achieve that.
What is a Metro Mayor?
A Metro Mayor is the directly elected leader of a Combined Authority. Combined Authorities are statutory bodies made up neighbouring local authorities. Some are known as city regions.
Six Metro Mayors were elected in Combined Authorities across England for the first time in May 2017 and a further two have been elected since then.
There will be seven Metro Mayor elections in 2021, plus the London Mayor election.
Metro Mayor elections had been due to take place in Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley and West Midlands in May 2020, alongside the London Mayor election, but these elections were postponed to 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elections were already due to happen in Cambridge and Peterborough and West of England in 2021, and a new devolution deal was announced in the March 2020 budget that will see a new Metro Mayor for West Yorkshire also elected next year. Sheffield City Region will follow in 2022 and North of Tyne in 2024.
What power do Metro Mayors have to protect the planet?
Metro Mayors are part of the Government’s devolution agenda and were enabled by the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016. These devolution deals determine the powers and resources available to Metro Mayors, who make decisions across the whole city region.
They have powers over sectors that are key to tackling the climate emergency, including transport, housing, strategic planning and the local industrial strategy.
Over 20% of England’s carbon emissions are produced in areas governed by Metro Mayors and Combined Authorities.
Metro Mayors can also act as key influencers within their own political parties, with the power to inspire others to prioritise climate action.
Climate Action Plan for Metro Mayors
We’ve created tailored Climate Action Plans for Metro Mayors which present a low-carbon vision for each region, point to evidence of the need for change and – crucially – the practical actions needed to tackle the climate crisis.
Further resources will be available to support activists to campaign in the lead up to the Metro Mayor elections in 2021.
In the interim, you can engage with your incumbent Mayor and ask them to prioritise the actions recommended in our Climate Action Plan for Metro Mayors.
Many Combined Authorities have already declared a climate emergency and are beginning to develop climate action or carbon reduction strategies for their regions, and you need to be part of the conversation.
The Climate Action Plan for your region
Climate Action Plans are currently available for Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley and West Midlands.
We also have a Climate Action Plan for the London Mayor.
If you’re from another Metro Mayor or Combined Authority region, talk to your Regional Campaigns Organiser about your region’s Climate Action Plan.