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Edinburgh Council Reveals Plans to Reach Carbon Neutral Status

Ross Kelly

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Edinburgh carbon neutral

The Council hopes to improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure and accelerate the transition to electric within its own vehicle fleets. 

The City of Edinburgh Council has published its road map to help the capital achieve ‘carbon neutral’ status by 2030.

Published this week, the ‘short window improvement plan’ outlines a series of immediate and short-term actions encompassing a range of council responsibilities, including transport, housing, energy and waste/recycling.

The road map highlights some of the actions under consideration by the Council ahead of the publication of the City Sustainability Strategy next year.

Later this week (Friday 25th October), members of the Policy and Sustainability Committee will consider the road map proposals. The committee will also receive interim updates from academics at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) to evaluate Edinburgh’s current carbon footprint.

The ECCI will also develop a range of reduction scenarios across the public, commercial, industry and domestic sectors.

Commenting on the road map publication, council leader Adam McVey said: “Achieving carbon neutral status by 2030 is no mean feat and it’s going to involve a Herculean effort by public bodies and partners right across the city.

“The scale of the challenge is huge, but what our work to date has shown is that this is achievable. We’ve identified initial immediate, short-term actions we can progress now to reduce our carbon impact while we continue to develop far-reaching plans towards our 2030 target.”

Some of the Council’s immediate actions include accelerating the transition of the councils’ vehicle fleet to electric, as well as improvements to electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The City Council also intends to carry out a “targeted energy-efficient retrofit” of council buildings and focus heavily on a sustainable approach to tourism within the city.

Additionally, the action plan includes proposals to increase the use of green infrastructure within new and existing infrastructure developments to increase cooling effects in the city.

Councillors will consider proposals to co-sponsor a City of Edinburgh Climate Commission with the ECCI. The Commission will be established as part of the Place-based Climate Action research projects and is scheduled to be launched in December.

The Commission will bring experts and city partners together to deliver on a shared ambition to tackle climate change and will support action to deliver the ambitious 2030 carbon neutral target.

Depute council leader Cammy Day hailed the proposals as an ambitious step for Edinburgh and the city’s efforts to achieve carbon-neutral status.

He said: “It’s great to see this plan for immediate and short-term actions coming forward and it just goes to show the huge amount of work that’s already been done since we made our ambitious climate change pledge earlier in the summer.

“The plan identifies carbon-reducing opportunities right across the Council’s services and estate and I know members of all parties will want to see progress on these as soon as possible so we can start reaping the benefits. Edinburgh is ready to be a leading carbon neutral city and I look forward to working with all our partnerships to achieve our ambitions.”

Jamie Brogan, head of innovation & skills at ECCI, added: “The collective call to action is for people and organisations across the city to work together to enable change in ways they have never done before.

“Our research shows that bringing together a diverse range of organisations and actors to establish a Climate Commission as an independent voice on climate change can really inspire and inform place-based climate action.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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