Glasgow is considering reforesting golf courses in a bid to plant more trees and make the city greener. Earlier this year Glasgow City Council announced a climate emergency, and a goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Alongside this plan, it also launched a consultation on the future of six of its public golf courses which provide key green spaces in Scotland’s most populated city. Local authorities across Scotland are struggling to find ways to make other uses of golf courses – public and private – as participation in the sport declines. Now, a group of councillors has called for the courses – including the city’s Lethamhill and Linn Park golf courses – which are both 18-hole, to be turned into forests, wetlands or even allotments if they shut. Just outside Glasgow, an old club at Fernbrae, near Castlemilk, has been transformed into a new urban park, complete with new woods and a natural wetland that serves as a crucial flood defence. About 17 per cent of Glasgow is currently trees and authorities want to see more, with planting planned at the former King’s Park Golf Club.
Scotsman 9th Sept 2019 read more »
Glasgow has announced that its entire fleet of 2000 vehicles will be carbon free by the end of 2029. So it will be buying electric cars and, more controversially, hydrogen-powered heavy vehicles for its heavy fleet. Its ambition is part of a wider bid to become Britain’s first zero net carbon city. As a start Glasgow has secured £805,000 from government quango Transport Scotland to convert 23 winter gritters to dual fuel hydrogen. Glasgow hopes that it can create a market for hydrogen fuel that will help other local authorities and commercial firms switch. And it recognise it will not make progress if it cannot find a solution for heavy transport. Anna Richardson, the councillor who leads on the climate emergency, said: “To tackle carbon reduction in Glasgow effectively, it is essential the council gets its own house in order. “A wide range of discussions is currently underway on we best secure green hydrogen for our vehicles and move away from traditional sources of energy. “We are absolutely focused on ensuring renewable energy drives our fleet in future.” Hydrogen remains controversial among environmentalists, some of whom see it as a “gateway drug” fuel for big hydrocarbon firms. Richard Dixon, of Friends of the Earth, said: “Hydrogen is a dead end for transport fuels which is being heavily promoted by the fossil fuel industry. “If Glasgow invests in hydrogen vehicles they will find them to be very expensive white elephants in the future. “There are already electric single and double decker buses in London, electric buses in four Scottish cities, electric bin lorries on trial in Sheffield and plans to build electric waste trucks in the UK. “Electric vehicles, even large ones, are the future, so there is no need to go to the expense or take the risk of using hydrogen to run vehicles. “The plan admits that hydrogen trucks are extremely expensive. “Electricity is clearly winning the big vehicle war over hydrogen. If you are going to spend lots of money replacing a fleet, spend it on electric vehicles because they are the only sensible option.” The dispute centres on whether hydrogen, current described as “grey” because it is made with either natural gas or coal, can be “green” in the future. Supporters of hydrogen technology stress that it will massively reduce emissions compared with the current solution for powering big trucks: diesel. Even dual-fuel vehicles are understood to offer a 40% cut.
Herald 10th Sept 2019 read more »
Martha Wardrop, Scottish Green Party councillor at Glasgow City Council: In Glasgow, political parties have united behind a plan focused on climate change action to deliver a carbon neutral city by 2030. I was delighted that fellow councillors, including those from the administration, signed up to recommendations which speed up the city’s transition to a zero-carbon economy. The production of this plan and its 61 recommendations has been a collaborative process which aimed to ensure Glasgow City Council can respond effectively to the climate emergency. The presentations from a range of experts, the responses to the public consultation, feedback from eco-committees of schools across the city and ideas submitted by members of the climate emergency working group that I chaired, have informed the development of the recommendations. Glasgow residents have asked for increased involvement in cutting carbon emissions and they want more leadership from councillors on the climate emergency.
Herald 10th Sept 2019 read more »