Plans to make Edinburgh climate resilient receive ‘overwhelming’ support


PLANS to transform Edinburgh into a net zero, climate resilient city have received ‘overwhelming support’, the capital’s council has revealed.

It comes following draft plans launched by the City of Edinburgh Council in July, which received over 900 responses in the 12-week consultation period which followed.

The plans include delivering a city-wide heat and energy masterplan by 2022, using new materials and on-site building techniques to deliver energy efficient buildings, and bringing public sector organisations together to plan and coordinate the retrofit of the city’s buildings.

As well as supporting the strategy’s aims and visions, the local authority said that citizens ‘broadly’ welcomed the blueprint’s 52 actions – which include engaging and empowering people to tackle climate change to investing in businesses and skills in the capital.

The early findings also revealed 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.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bringing forward business case proposals for community energy generation schemes across the city, with Energy for Edinburgh.
  4. Working with Lothian Buses to decarbonise their bus fleet by 2023 and developing a plan for shared public service charging hubs.
  5. Developing a costed climate change risk assessment for the city and a new city adaptation plan by 2022/23, alongside a regional approach.
  6. 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.
  7. Developing a citywide programme/pipeline of green investment proposals with a Climate Strategy Investment Programme Board.

Speaking about the proposals, leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, councillor Adam McVey, 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.”

The final draft of Edinburgh’s 2030 climate strategy is to be brought to the committee on 30 November 2021.