Glasgow has unveiled its ambitious plan to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero before 2045 ahead of Scotland’s national target.
The city’s plan will see it beat the Scottish Government’s nation-wide targets, and earn it the status of becoming the UK’s first net-zero city.
To achieve net-zero status, the city must produce the same volume of greenhouse gases being emitted as is being absorbed through offsetting techniques.
Glasgow City Council leader, Susan Aitken, said: “We simply have to act now and the Glasgow City Government will develop those partnerships necessary to get to where we simply have to be. We need to be a net-zero city. And we need to be the UK’s first net-zero city.”
Glasgow City Council and Scottish Power have said they will collaborate on a number of programmes to help the city realise its ambition. The two hope that this announcement will act as a catalyst to start a “race to zero”.
Scottish Power chief executive, Keith Anderson, said: “A ‘race to zero’ is a good thing. It is a healthy thing and will create a better environment, cleaner air, so let’s go on and start the race. The prize is the future of our country and our planet.”
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Edinburgh has already taken on the challenge, saying it will reach zero-net by 2030, ahead of Glasgow. Edinburgh plans to focus on local supply chains being redeveloped for “construction and refurbishment in low carbon design”, with an eye towards creating a circular economy.
Edinburgh council leader Adam McVey said: “We are quite clear the 2030 target should be the target for this organisation and this city – but with a hard limit of 2037.
“I think it’s important that this organisation responds to the challenges we all recognise they are incredibly serious. I think it’s important that we as a city take our responsibility seriously.”
The plans follow hot on the heels of Nicola Sturgeon’s declaration of a “climate emergency” at the SNP conference last month. The following week the Scottish Government said it would legislate to cut greenhouse emissions to net-zero by 2045.
Due to Scotland’s potential for planting trees, a technique to offset greenhouse gases, the Committee on Climate Change urged Scotland to set its targets five years ahead of the UK.
To meet this ambitious target Scotland’s renewable energy capacity needs to quadruple and electricity generation to double, according to Scottish Power.