Initial findings reveal overwhelming support for Edinburgh Climate Strategy aims

Overwhelming support has been shown across Edinburgh for a net-zero, climate-resilient capital, according to initial findings from the public consultation on the draft 2030 Climate Strategy.

Initial findings reveal overwhelming support for Edinburgh Climate Strategy aims

More the 900 residents and stakeholders shared their views on the draft strategy over the 12-week summer consultation, through a series of online workshops and engagement sessions and the City of Edinburgh Council’s online survey.

As well as supporting the strategy’s aims and vision, citizens broadly welcomed the strategy’s 52 actions - on activities which ranged from engaging and empowering people to tackle climate change to investing in businesses and skills in the capital.

The early findings reveal that respondents not only support what the draft strategy aims to do, but how it proposes to take action and deliver on the city’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

They also show that overall, people felt the City of Edinburgh Council had received permission to act on climate change and needed to move discussions on climate from ‘whether the city should act’ to ‘how we act together.’

In response to the public feedback, seven areas of work identified as having the most impact on Edinburgh’s emissions are now being proposed. These include:

  • Creating a partnership of financial investment and delivery organisations to develop a business case for how all Edinburgh’s citizens will be able to affordably retrofit their homes in partnership with the Scottish Futures Trust.
  • Developing an Edinburgh Community Climate Forum to help empower citizens, encourage behaviour change and community activism on climate action. It will be sponsored by the Council and delivered independently by EVOC and Our Future Edinburgh.
  • Bringing forward business case proposals for community energy generation schemes across the city, with Energy for Edinburgh.
    Working with Lothian Buses to decarbonise their bus fleet by 2023 and developing a plan for shared public service charging hubs.
  • Developing a costed climate change risk assessment for the city and a new city adaptation plan by 2022/23, alongside a regional approach.
  • Establishing a business led Economic Transition Forum and also a new Business for Good programme through Edinburgh CAN B to provide practical support and training for businesses across the city to transition to net zero.
  • Developing a citywide programme/pipeline of green investment proposals with a Climate Strategy Investment Programme Board.

Councillor Adam McVey, leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Public and stakeholder response to our draft Climate Strategy has been fantastic and has thoughtfully reflected the complex and systemic nature of climate change.

“Feedback from residents and groups has highlighted the need to give people more information and support on how to make changes to their everyday lives which will support Edinburgh’s climate target, which is why I’m delighted to announce the council will sponsor the establishment of a Community Climate Forum for the city.

“The Forum will help to provide a vital point of interaction and information for and with communities on all aspects of climate action. Meanwhile, city partner responses have been really detailed and positive, with all partners committing to working together in key areas of climate action.

“Many have also committed both resources and in-kind activity as part of the implementation plan and will ensure the council and our partners will keep up momentum in delivering a net zero, climate ready city by 2030.”

Depute leader Councillor Cammy Day added: “The 2030 Climate Strategy is for the whole of Edinburgh and whilst the council needs to take a leading role, the purpose of the strategy is to facilitate and unlock collaboration and collective action at speed and scale to deliver a net zero city.

“The pandemic had shown people how quickly and effectively the council and partners can act on emergency issues. We must now listen to feedback from the consultation and go faster and further in our strategy actions to reflect the climate emergency and meet Edinburgh’s deadline of net zero emissions by 2030.

“The final draft of the 2030 Climate Strategy will be supported by an implementation plan detailing deliverables, milestones, timescales, resources, and approach to measuring outcomes and impact. This will be brought to Committee alongside the final draft of the strategy on 30 November 2021.”

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