An ambitious target for Edinburgh to become carbon neutral by 2030 has been set by the City of Edinburgh Council.
Alongside the bold carbon target, a report to the Corporate Policy & Strategy Committee today (Tuesday 14 May) sets out a three-phased plan for delivering an ambitious and innovative citywide approach to sustainability - in a bid to safeguard the health and wellbeing of current and future generations as well as the sustainable prosperity of the city as a whole.
Council Leader Adam McVey, speaking at the cross-party meeting, said: “Cities and towns all over the world are recognising the horrifying scale of the climate change challenge facing us all. We have to act and act fast - and that is why this council and indeed the Scottish Government are not shying away from recognising the state of affairs as a Climate Emergency.
“We are quite clear the 2030 target should be the target adopted by everyone in the city - public, private sector and third sector. We can achieve a zero-carbon city by 2030 but we cannot afford for this to be delivered any later than 2037 so we have set this as an absolute limit on reaching this goal. I think it’s important that the Council and this city responds to the challenges that we all recognise are incredibly serious.
“Our task as a whole Council is to work cross party to tackle this together, along with our partner organisations across the city – we owe it to future generations to get this right. It’s a massive and definitely daunting piece of work so it needs a clear direction of travel if we’re to do this properly. I know we can achieve great things if we take an ambitious but realistic approach and I’m looking forward to some constructive and engaging debate about this at the meeting.
“Already we’re making great strides in cutting emissions in the Capital, with our pioneering electric vehicle strategy moving on apace and Friday’s launch of works on the Saughton Park micro-hydro scheme just two examples of our work in this area. Our new monthly Open Streets programme demonstrates how much calmer, peaceful and pleasant our beautiful Old Town is when people are out at the centre of how space is used. This policy and others like the implementation of low emission zones, show we are truly grasping the climate change nettle at every level.
“One of the most crucial things this Sustainability Approach report flags up is that this has to be a citywide effort and that we have to engage our citizens and take them on this journey with us. Their support, innovation and involvement will be absolutely key to whether or not we achieve our goals.”
The Sustainability Approach report was considered by councillors on Tuesday 14 May 2019.