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City of Edinburgh Council launches 2030 climate strategy

Edinburgh traffic - Image credit: unknown

City of Edinburgh Council launches 2030 climate strategy

The City of Edinburgh Council has launched its 2030 climate strategy, setting out plans for the city to reach net zero emissions by 2030.

The strategy is based around six principles: a just transition, preventing future emissions, creating 20-minute neighbourhoods, improving energy efficiency of buildings, ensuring the energy infrastructure can meet the increased demand for electricity and working with the Scottish Government to create the right conditions and support for residents and businesses to make changes.

Among the plans in the strategy are trialling two net-zero neighbourhoods, setting up a city heat and energy partnership, establishing an energy efficient public buildings partnership to retrofit public buildings and working in partnership to develop approaches to making historic buildings more energy efficient.

The city also plans to set up electric vehicle charging hubs for public service vehicles such as buses and taxis, which will also be made available to residents where possible, but there are no plans to roll out on-street electric vehicle charging points that would allow those living in flats to switch to electric vehicles.

In  briefing ahead of the strategy launch, council leader Councillor Adam McVey said the council was hoping to persuade more people to use car clubs and the focus would be on helping car clubs to electrify.

He also said the electricity infrastructure in the city would not currently support city-wide rollout of electric vehicle charging points and that efforts to support active travel were more cost effective than supporting electric charging for residents.

The council will be working with Scottish Power to make sure the grid can support the increased need for electric power.

Businesses in the city are also being asked to play their part by signing up to the Edinburgh Climate Compact, agreeing to reduce their emissions, and marketing campaigns will encourage residents to change their behaviour where they can.

McVey said: “In the year that Scotland hosts COP26, the world’s eyes will be on Scotland, and on Edinburgh as its capital and we want to ensure this leaves a legacy of action to address the climate emergency. 

“This strategy will help our businesses, public sector and organisations and residents across our communities reduce or remove their carbon footprint.

“Importantly it also lays out how will come together as a city to collaborate on action at the scale and pace we need to get to net zero by 2030.

“This includes our strategic partnership with SP Energy Networks which will ensure investment in the city’s grid has maximum benefit for our infrastructure plans and for businesses and residents alike.

“It’s only by working together as Team Edinburgh and with partners beyond that we can achieve the green future we need.

“This strategy aims to create the right conditions to unlock the opportunities that climate action presents, creating jobs and a more sustainable economy while we preserve our amazing capital city for future generations.”

Depute leader Councillor Cammy Day added: “Research shows that we could get over 60 per cent of the way to net zero with actions that pay for themselves within seven to twelve years.

“And while we don’t have all the answers today, we will be relentless as a city in our pursuit of a better greener net zero future for this city and its people.

“It is great to see that organisations across the city have their own sustainability plans and programmes of activity that are reducing the city’s emissions and that Edinburgh’s communities and citizens, and especially our young people, have a strong track record of climate action.

“But we must all go further and faster – and we can only do that through a joined-up collective effort.

“I encourage everyone in the city to take part in the consultation and to have their say in the proposals.

“Every positive action we take now will have a 10 times greater positive impact than if we waited to take these actions in 2030.”

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