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Edinburgh Climate Commission calls for sustainable city recovery

Investment in jobs, community wellbeing and net zero transport are among proposals made by an expert group involving Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) and University of Edinburgh experts to help Edinburgh recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

The recommendations are made in a report by the Edinburgh Climate Commission calling for government and city leaders to commit to a green recovery from the pandemic.

The Commission’s inaugural report makes 10 recommendations to ensure that a thriving, fair and sustainable Edinburgh is resilient to future economic and public health shocks.

Expert group

Experts from ECCI and the University play a key role in the Edinburgh Climate Commission, which is the only independent group of its kind in Scotland.

It was created over the past nine months by ECCI, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, to accelerate efforts to help the city become carbon neutral by 2030.

Its recommendations are being considered by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Policy and Sustainability Committee.

The full report - 'Forward, Faster, Together: Recommendations for a Green Economic Recovery in Edinburgh' is available via the Edinburgh Climate Commission website.

Cllr. Adam McVey, Council Leader and Edinburgh Climate Commission Vice Chair, said: “The Edinburgh Climate Commission was formed out of a necessity to tackle climate change in Edinburgh as an urgent priority.

"I am very appreciative of the immense work and effort that has gone into the creation of this report by the other Commissioners and the support from the Edinburgh Centre of Carbon Innovation and the University of Edinburgh.” Cllr. Adam McVey, Council Leader and Commission Vice Chair

Climate action

The Edinburgh Climate Commission is part of the Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN). The network – funded by the Economic and Social Research Council – brings together researchers and decision makers from the private, public and third sectors. As well as Edinburgh, it has established commissions in Leeds and Belfast, and through outreach has led to the creation of climate commissions in other towns and cities.

ECCI’s Head of Innovation and Skills, Jamie Brogan, said: “With the impact of COVID being felt just as we established the Edinburgh Climate Commission, we felt strongly that our first piece of work should be to help our city to shape a green economic recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

"Our recommendations seek to use the lessons we’ve learnt from the impact of COVID, and the way in which we’ve shown we can respond to a crisis, to realise the economic opportunities of a green recovery and accelerate the city’s progress towards its target of net zero emission by 2030.

"Our aim must be to build a fairer, stronger and more resilient economy in a healthier, greener city, which will thrive in a low carbon future.” ECCI’s Head of Innovation and Skills, Jamie Brogan

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “The University welcomes the clear recommendations of the Edinburgh Climate Commission which align with our own aspirations to reduce environmental impact and achieve zero carbon by 2040.

"The work of the commission demonstrates how the University’s expertise can contribute to civic life, bringing our solutions-focussed research to bear on evidence-based policy making, working hand-in-hand with private, public and third sectors to address the issues faced by Edinburgh as the climate warms inexorably.

"The success of the Edinburgh Climate Commission is testament to a lot of hard work by academic and professional staff colleagues in ECCI. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Council and the Scottish Government in a post-Covid green recovery.”

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