We must keep to our Net Zero by 2030 ambitions - Cammy Day
The United Nations Climate Change Conference has taken place annually since the first UN Climate Agreement in 1992. These conferences are where the international community comes together to address actions to limit rises in global temperature and mitigate the ongoing impact of climate change.
According to the UN Environment Programme, we are on course for +2.5 to 2.9°C of warming. This is as clear an indication as any to the pertinence and severity of the challenges we face.
Here in Edinburgh, we remain steadfastly determined to play our part in this global fight against climate change. We have a bold and ambitious plan to be net-zero by 2030. Whilst the council needs to play a leading role in this plan, we know that a just transition to net-zero needs to be a collective effort across society, involving public bodies, businesses, universities, and our communities.
This year has seen us make good progress in our climate goals. Earlier this year we declared a nature emergency, which is fundamentally linked to our declaration of a Climate Emergency in 2019. Our response to the nature emergency will continue the city-wide programme of work that’s improving and expanding natural habitats, support species and ecosystems.
The City of Edinburgh claimed the top spot of councils in Scotland on climate action by Climate Emergency UK. In November we were recognised by Carbon Disclosure Project as one of 119 cities in the world to lead the way on climate action. Our ‘A’ grade saw us as one of only 13 per cent of cities from across the globe.
Whilst I welcome this excellent news, we still have a long road ahead to reach our goal of becoming a net zero city by 2030 and addressing the climate and nature emergencies. We know that much of our work leads the way and we will continue to do everything in our power to address the climate and nature emergencies. However much of what we have achieved to date, has been through spend to save initiatives.
From this point forwards, work needs to be undertaken to prioritise investment in actions which will reduce emissions at the pace and scale required, along with identifying key barriers to delivery such as market readiness. That’s why I’ll be meeting with the Scottish Government to discuss how to accelerate capacity and skills in these key areas, to support job opportunities and a Just Transition.
We must keep to our Net Zero by 2030 ambitions. Not only because it is the right thing to do for this and future generations, but because debating whether or not we’re going to achieve all of our objectives by 2030 only delays action.
As the world’s leaders gather in Dubai, we will continue to act locally. This is the greatest threat of our lifetimes and whilst there are many challenges ahead, I am confident that the citizens of our great city will rise to them as they have done so often in the past.