We must work together for a clean future city - Cammy Day
As politicians, we need to respond to the challenges facing the city right now but also to plan for and take action to invest in future generations, and to ensure our young people inherit a thriving, sustainable city which is a cleaner and healthier place to live and work.
As the biggest threat facing our planet, we must continue to take action to prevent the impact that climate change will have on Edinburgh This is why consultation has begun this week on our draft 2030 Climate Strategy.
The draft strategy lays out how we will enable, support and deliver action to meet our net zero ambition, by working with leading strategic partners in Edinburgh. It also highlights actions citizens, communities and the wider business community could take to help drive down emissions.
When we’re united, we have enormous power and influence over the emissions in the city and the potential to create a thriving net zero future for the benefit of everyone who lives and works in Edinburgh.
We have already seen how the city’s response to Covid shone a light on what communities and organisations can achieve together in the face of an emergency.
And as we continue to deal with the pandemic, we also need to plan to ensure the city’s recovery is both fair and green for everyone who lives and works here.
Edinburgh’s young people have been at the forefront of demanding faster action on climate change and our residents have told us they want Edinburgh to become a sustainable, fair and thriving city – but we know this won’t be easy.
The challenge we face is clear. We must reduce our transport emissions 12 times faster; emissions from buildings need to be reduced twice as fast year on year and our homes need to be retrofitted 50 times faster.
We also need to improve air quality, protect our thriving green spaces, support active travel and continue to build warm, good quality places to live and work to make Edinburgh a healthier and happier place to live.
In the meantime, the council will continue to play a leading role in co-creating a healthy, green, clean and sustainable future for the city.
Just last month, the council agreed to invest an additional £250,000 to expand EV charging infrastructure for our own fleet, as well as investment in carbon net zero engagement and food growing in the city.
And we will carry on creating the right policy, regulation, city infrastructure and partnerships to unlock climate action across the city.
We look forward to hearing views from all stakeholders and residents over the summer as the consultation gets underway.
Feedback from the consultation will shape the final strategy, which will be launched just as leaders from across the world come to Scotland for COP26.
And we are confident Edinburgh will be alongside the most ambitious cities striving towards a net zero future for everyone.
Cllr Cammy Day is Depute Leader of City of Edinburgh Council