Plans for Greater Manchester to become the leading green and digital city-region in the UK have received government backing.

The vision – which includes making GM carbon neutral by 2038, 12 years ahead of the national target – is part of a new Clean Growth Mission, launched by authority leaders this week.

Mayor Andy Burnham said the ambitious plans will ensure the conurbation’s status as a ‘social pioneer’ leading a ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

They come under the umbrella of the city-region’s Local Industrial Strategy, which has been developed in partnership with central government and will look to create jobs in growth sectors.

Business secretary Greg Clark said the proposals will build on the region’s ‘strong and proud manufacturing heritage’, consolidating its success in the production of advanced materials, such as graphene.

The carbon neutral target was set out by local leaders at the GM Green Summit earlier this year and has now received endorsement from the government.

Mr Burnham said: “This is a plan focused on people and ensuring we have the good quality jobs to ensure people can succeed now and into the future.  

“In Greater Manchester, we led the first industrial revolution and are now in a position to lead the fourth.

“We will show that these plans are not just the right thing for people and the environment but also right for our economy.

“We’re also setting out how advanced manufacturing along with the digital and creative sectors will now help to grow our economy and help us become a wholly digitally-enabled city-region.  

GM is the second area in the UK to agree an industrial strategy with central government, aimed at boosting health rates, solving issues in the education and skills sector and improving infrastructure and transport.

Deputy mayor for the economy Sir Richard Leese said: “We’re setting out how we will ensure that everyone benefits from the growth in our economy and the quality jobs that we’re creating.

“Central to that will be cementing our place as a leader in advanced manufacturing, health innovation and within the creative and digital sectors.  

“These key sectors are going to fuel the growth that all of our citizens will benefit from for years to come.”

As part of wider efforts to tackle climate change, the government has indicated this week it will commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero by 2050.

Mr Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, said: “Greater Manchester has a strong and proud manufacturing heritage and this new Local Industrial Strategy will ensure its world leading position in this field is secured and built on for the next generation.

“At the heart of this strategy is clean growth and Greater Manchester’s determination to reap the rewards of the UK’s transition to a net-zero economy, reinforced by the city region’s ambition to be the first carbon neutral city in the UK by 2038.”

The industrial strategy, Mr Burnham added, is ‘another step’ on GM’s devolution journey.

He said: “The Local Industrial Strategy will enable us to drive our productivity and prosperity as we create the good, green jobs and skilled workforce that will power this thriving city-region’s economy into the future.”