Edinburgh net-carbon-zero by 2030? The list of things Edinburgh Council isn’t going to achieve in a month of Sundays just got a new entry – John McLellan

To the latest episode of the long-running series, “Things Edinburgh Council isn’t going to achieve in a month of Sundays”, can be added the “ambitious” plan to make Edinburgh a net-carbon-zero city by 2030.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 4:45 pm
Widespread home insulation improvements are needed to get to net-zero carbon emissions (Picture: Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)

So in eight years’ time, we are expected to believe that well over 100,000 private homes will be refitted to meet the minimum standard of heating and insulation the strategy requires.

“Owner occupiers, private landlords and the city’s businesses will also need to invest in their buildings,” says the implementation plan, without any indication of how much.

Never fear, because the council will “bring financing and energy delivery partners together to develop a mechanism for unlocking and enabling domestic energy retrofit at pace and scale”. In other words, home-owners must cough up, as it were.

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But hold on, the council also promises to “develop exemplar retrofit pilots which will test innovative finance models”. God bless ’em, and thousands of property owners will, of course, have every confidence in a council-devised finance scheme.

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Even if 100,000 householders were prepared to bankrupt themselves to pander to this administration’s collective ego, it requires “a large, new skilled workforce”.

Again, there is no suggestion where this will come from, especially when the work needed to bring council and other public properties up to the required standard is equally vast, and tradesmen should be busy building the 50,000 new homes the report says are needed to meet demand.

Whenever you read a statement from Edinburgh Council referring to an “ambitious” plan, substitute “totally unachievable” and you won’t go wrong.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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