Climate action in Edinburgh

Partner climate action

Net Zero Edinburgh Leadership Board

Edinburgh’s Net Zero Edinburgh Leadership Board (NZELB) was established from the 2030 Climate Strategy for the city. The board's role is to bring city partners together to:

  • provide city wide leadership in creating a green, clean and sustainable future for the city
  • oversee, agree and drive delivery of four thematic workstreams which lead on developing a pipeline of green infrastructure projects for the city. The themes are
    • adaptation
    • heat, energy and public buildings
    • transport infrastructure
    • just economic transition
  • develop a green infrastructure investment plan for the city.

What organisations are involved?

The Council’s Executive Director of Place chairs the board and core partner organisations include the public organisations with a significant control over public buildings and homes

  • NHS
  • The City of Edinburgh Council
  • Edinburgh universities and colleges
  • private sector utility companies investing significantly in the infrastructure of the city
    • SP Energy Networks
    • Scottish Gas Network
    • Scottish Water
  • Edinburgh Chamber for Commerce representing business, employment and economic interests in the city.

What’s the impact of the board to date?

The board first met in February 2022, but has already undertaken extensive combined citywide data analysis mapping heat and energy demand and supply, buildings and land ownership and investments, relevant transport infrastructure; areas vulnerable to climate change, as well as wider socio-economic data.

Multi-partner information and data at a geographical level was interrogated to place level to identify local areas in Edinburgh where collaborative infrastructure planning will yield the greatest opportunity and support the scale of transition required by net zero.

To further advance collaborative infrastructure planning organisational budgets are being aligned to deliver:

  • a single combined (partner shared evidence base) data map to underpin organisational operation and financial planning.
  • a first opportunity appraisal at place level with a view to progressing deeper data analysis and targeted feasibility work at more ‘places’. This includes identification of project pipelines, project readiness and a feasibility assessment of collaborative opportunities/options.

The board will continue to make sure the five thematic partnerships work effectively together and identify the pipeline of future development activity across Edinburgh and taking stock of its existing assets that will support the development of an Edinburgh Green Investment Prospectus and an Edinburgh Green Infrastructure Investment Plan.

Other resident and partner action on climate change

Many residents and city partners are already taking action on climate change in Edinburgh. Many businesses already have sustainability plans. Others are working in ways which help cut the city’s emissions. Some examples include

  • Forth Ports is creating Scotland’s largest renewable energy hub at the Port of Leith which will support
    • up to 1,000 high quality long term direct jobs
    • about 2,000 indirect jobs
  • in 2022, more than 20 employers in Edinburgh signed the Edinburgh Climate Compact to reduce their emissions and support Edinburgh's net zero goal.
  • The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is learning how to adapt to the changing climate with a rain garden which manages flooding and allows researchers to study which plants are best suited to soaking up water.
  • NHS Lothian is upgrading the Western General Hospital putting in high energy efficiency systems and low carbon technologies.

Cutting organisational emissions

We encourage all Edinburgh businesses to sign up to the Edinburgh Climate Compact. This is a commitment to lower their organisation’s greenhouse gas emissions through their operations and support the city’s net zero target. Find out more about the Edinburgh Climate Compact 

Encouraging sustainable business

Business for Good is a programme by Everyone’s Edinburgh aimed at business leaders, to help them grow more sustainable and fairer businesses. Their website includes information on available support including:

  • clinics and masterclasses
  • toolkits and resources
  • training courses
  • advisors and mentors.

Learn more about what businesses across Edinburgh are doing to tackle climate change at net zero Edinburgh.