Cop 26: North of England could 'lead the next industrial revolution' says Andy Burnham

The north of England could “lead the next industrial revolution”, Andy Burnham has said, as leaders at Cop26 look to meet net zero goals in the coming decades.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham pictured in October 2021

The Mayor of Greater Manchester believes that the transition to a greener economy could “reindustrialise the north of England, but this time in a good way” as jobs emerge helping to build and operate the climate-friendly technologies of the future.

However, he called on the Government to “back” the north on these projects, as the “window to do something” closes rapidly.

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Speaking to Sky News from the UN Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow this morning, Mr Burnham said: “You can’t help but look back at the history of Greater Manchester and look at that first Industrial Revolution and we did lead it.

“We led it as a region, we led it as a country and obviously we’ve de-industrialised since then.

I think this is the opportunity that’s staring us now right in the face, the drive to net-zero could re-industrialise the north of England but this time in a good way, where it’s clean and we give people clean air to breathe.

“That’s an opportunity that we’ve got as a country.”

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He added: “The north of England could lead the next industrial revolution, it needs the Government to back it.

“We’ve had a lot of rhetoric about them saying we believe in the north we’re backing the north, the mayors aren’t yet feeling it properly to be honest with you, and the window to do something is kind of closing.”

Meanwhile, the former Governor of the Bank of England has said that the planet cannot bounce from one climate crisis to another as has been done with finance in the past .

Mark Carney said: “The financial crisis was one of a long series of financial crises – we weren’t learning from history. We don’t get a long series of climate crises. We have one.”