Sustainable city ambitions recognised in new Edinburgh by Numbers report

Edinburgh residents believe that climate change is an immediate and urgent problem according to the latest Edinburgh By Numbers report produced by the City of Edinburgh Council.

Sustainable city ambitions recognised in new Edinburgh by Numbers report

The report showed that nearly three quarters (73%) of people across the Capital are very concerned about the climate emergency.

The finding comes as the city recorded the fourth largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per population of UK major cities between 2011 to 2018, and as the city works towards its ambitious target to reach net-zero emissions by 2030 - 15 years before Scotland’s national target.

The 14th annual edition of Edinburgh by Numbers provides a statistical overview of the Capital and how it compares to other UK cities in terms of People, Work, Economy, Tourism, Education, Environment, Property, Travel and Connectivity.

This year’s report, covering the time period 2009 to 2019/20, gives a snapshot of a pre-pandemic Edinburgh. It paints a comprehensive picture of the city’s landscape before the Covid-19 crisis hit the world while also bringing to life the council’s key priorities - as laid out in its three-year business plan, ‘Our Future Council, Our Future City’ – ending poverty, becoming net-zero and enhancing wellbeing.

Cllr Adam McVey, council leader, said: “These figures show the opportunities that Edinburgh offers to so many of our residents, and demonstrate the attraction for so many people to move here, work here, travel here and study here. Although we’ve had a huge disruption to all areas of our lives, our communities and the city more widely during the Covid-19 pandemic, looking at these figures, to pre-pandemic times, should give us a sense of optimism about how we go forward.

“We will take stock of the last year and by using our strengths and the resilience we’ve gained, Edinburgh will build back a fairer, stronger and greener economy for the benefit of all our citizens.

“A greener, fairer recovery won’t be without its challenges but our approach to recovery will build a more sustainable future. Through the Edinburgh Guarantee, we’re expanding support to all ages getting back into fair work, education and training. We’re working with retail and hospitality businesses through our Forever Edinburgh campaign to help residents and visitors alike sustainably rediscover our beautiful city’s offer all year round.

“We’re welcoming back students to our world-class universities and colleges – once it is safe to do so – to continue their studies, building the skills we need for Edinburgh’s future and creating new technologies that are delivering such a bright economic future for the Capital with opportunities across our communities. We also look forward to growing centres of innovation that we invest in, such as the Edinburgh BioQuarter, that feed into the inclusive growth of our economy.”

Cllr Cammy Day, depute council leader, added: “Tackling inequality and sustainability issues is high on the list of our priorities. Before the pandemic, our economic strategy was focused on good growth, on tackling inequality, on well-being, and also on sustainability.

“The Edinburgh Poverty Commission, an independent group working alongside the council to alleviate poverty in the city, is throwing its full weight behind this and we are investing hundreds of millions of pounds in projects to support this agenda in areas including transport, infrastructure, electronics, pensions, etc.

“We’ll also continue to look at new ways to continue to meet our net zero carbon emissions targets through our City Mobility Plan and our ambitious 30-year housing building and capital investment programme delivering 20,000 affordable and energy efficient homes and carbon neutral neighbourhoods through developments such as the Granton Waterfront, Fountainbridge and Meadowbank.”

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