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Edinburgh’s Climate Revolution: Residents’ Crucial Role in Shaping the Future

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Capital residents are being asked to play a key role in shaping the city’s response to the climate and nature emergencies.

Launching today, a 12-week consultation will seek views on a draft Climate Ready Edinburgh Plan – an ambitious strategy designed to adapt the city to ensure Edinburgh rises to the challenge of climate change.

Available to take part in online, the consultation findings will be used to finalise the policy before it is presented to Councillors in the Spring.

If adopted, the Climate Ready Edinburgh Plan is expected to become one of the city – and country’s — leading climate action plans, bolstered by ambitious work that is already underway in Edinburgh to tackle carbon emissions and head towards net zero by 2030.

It comes after Councillors considered the second annual 2030 Climate Strategy and city-wide carbon emissions report, which measures progress against agreed actions to reduce emissions and help the city achieve its net zero target by 2030.

Much climate adaptation work is already underway in Edinburgh, which this draft plan aims to build on. Its primary aim will be to guide changes to the city to safeguard people and wildlife from the risks posed by climate change.

“Climate change will affect everyone in Edinburgh, there is no question of that. Some residents and communities will be more vulnerable than others to these changes and it is our duty to defend them from risks such as the sea level rising and threats to biodiversity. We know tackling climate change and poverty go hand in hand and this Plan aims to ensure we are adapting in ways that benefit all citizens and communities equally.

“It is bold and ambitious in its approach and aims, but much like our net zero goals for Edinburgh, this is absolutely essential if we are to properly confront the climate emergency. It is undoubtedly the key existential challenge of our times.

“I’m very keen that we engage with communities, ensuring we are inclusive in our decision making and all voices are represented. Listening to our communities will be a key focus as we adapt to climate change.

“What’s clear, however, is that we can’t do this alone. As a Council, we can shape and influence change through our policies and plans, but this needs to be a team effort, a pulling together of resources and plans across the public, private and voluntary sectors. That’s why I’m so grateful to the Edinburgh Adapts Group for jointly developing this plan with us. It has involved climate experts and industry from all of the city joining forces.”

Council Leader Cammy Day

“We are already seeing the impact of climate change in Edinburgh, so its great to see this consultation start on how we adapt Edinburgh to climate change. It will affect us all and we will have to act. In my own organisation, we are already investing in Edinburgh to deliver climate change adaptation and are working closely with the council on this. However, we need united action and funding from many partners.”

Gordon Reid, Scottish Water General Manager for Zero Emissions and Chair of the Edinburgh Adapts Partnership Group

The draft plan priority themes are in the following eight areas:

  1. Planning and the built environment: actions that will help to mitigate the effects of climate change by making our buildings and infrastructure more resilient.
  2. Water management and resilience: actions to tackle flooding and associated impacts from severe weather events.
  3. Coastal adaptation: actions to manage sea level rises and the impact to our coastline and surrounding communities.
  4. Sustainable transport: actions to support a well-connected city.
  5. Safeguarding and enhancing our natural environment: actions that will support our natural environment and biodiversity.
  6. Strong, healthy community and economy: actions to support our communities, addressing climate justice, to create a thriving city.
  7. Building understanding of climate risk: actions to continue to ensure our understanding of how the climate is changing and the impacts of this to the city are based on the latest climate science.
  8. Governance and risk: actions to drive delivery and partnership working.

Take part in the consultation until 7 April 2024.

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