Draft 2030 Climate Strategy

Engaging and empowering citizens to tackle climate change

Our strategic approach is to focus on creating an environment that makes acting sustainably easier and asks citizens to use their influence and power to support and inform climate action in the city and demand change from others.

We'll work to raise awareness, support and accelerate community and citizen action, asking people to make more sustainable choices where they can.

We'll maintain an ongoing open and frank dialogue with citizens and communities, with the aim of designing solutions together and maintaining high levels of support for net zero action.

Each individual strategy chapter sets out the steps we will take to create an environment where acting sustainably is easier for citizens and communities. In addition, the strategy sets out next steps for engaging and empowering citizens.

The outcomes

  1. Citizens are engaged and empowered to respond to the climate emergency.
  2. Edinburgh is a city where sustainable choices are easier to make, and people are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint.
  3. Citizens are empowered, engaged and acting to influence the public and private sector to go further on tackling climate change.

Next steps

  1. Deliver awareness-raising campaigns.
  2. Support citizens to measure their carbon footprint.
  3. Maintain an ongoing open dialogue with citizens about the transformation that needs to happen in the city and how we can collaborate to take decisions and deliver change together.
  4. Call on the Scottish Government to work with Edinburgh on awareness raising campaigns to support a frank discussion on climate change action.
  5. Maximise opportunities to focus on climate change across our whole education system, including independent schools.
  6. Work with young people in schools and in communities, to embed a legacy of change, drawing on COP26 coming to Scotland.
  7. Strengthen climate change within our curriculum.
  8. Pilot a carbon footprinting app within at least two schools.
  9. Deliver a Hydrogen Education Programme and schools challenge.
  10. Develop proposals and seek funding for creating ‘net zero communities’ in at least two.

Actions citizens can take to help tackle climate change

  1. Understand your carbon footprint: Use online and other resources to learn about your impact on the environment.
  2. Make the easy decisions: Leave the car at home for shorter trips or reduce your food waste.
  3. Consider and explore investment: Investing home energy efficiency measures such as insultation, secondary glazing or clean energy heating systems. These will save you money in the long run – but may have upfront costs.
  4. Use your purchasing power: Choosing products and services that are more environmentally friendly can send a powerful message to businesses. This includes choosing locally grown food, low-packaging items, and good and services which use renewable energy and recycled materials.
  5. Use your democratic power: Make your voice heard in local and national decision-making and tell us what future you want.
  6. Stay involved: Keep engaging with local services, community groups and neighbours. Support the right changes when you see them, advocate for change when you don’t.
  7. Plan for a low carbon future.
  8. Consider the energy efficiency rating when replacing household appliances and buying the most efficient products.
  9. Consider replacing petrol or diesel cars with electric vehicles and making greater use of public transport, car-share schemes or bikes.

Download the Engaging and Empowering Citizens to tackle Climate Change chapter of the draft 2030 Climate Strategy