Principles to shape a net zero recovery: Forward, Faster, Together. Re: An open letter to all who will play a part in shaping Edinburgh’s recovery from Covid–19 and our response to the climate emergency. The Edinburgh Climate Commission was established to help galvanise action across the city in response to the climate crisis. With the arrival of Covid-19 everything has changed and yet nothing has changed. 2019 saw record breaking global greenhouse gas emissions and we remain locked into ever more dangerous and systemic impacts from climate change. The significant drop in climate emissions driven by the Covid -19 lock down is temporary unless we take steps now to build back better. The aim of the Commission is the same now as it was when it formed just a few months ago – to accelerate a just transition to net zero. It is against this context that we must build a response to the acute health and economic crisis created by the Covid-19 crisis. The decisions taken in the coming weeks and months will determine if we lock ourselves into a climate chaos pathway or instead build back to a fairer society that releases the multiple public benefits of a net zero economy. The Edinburgh Climate Commission intends to publish a short paper by the end of June setting out key recommendations that if adopted will help not only accelerate our climate response but also create good jobs, improve public health, strengthen the resilience of our city and attract investment. In advance of publishing this report we are presenting the principles that will guide our thinking and which we urge others to adopt in the prioritisation of their actions. These principles draw on an already strong and consistent body of work from the UK Committee on Climate Change, the OECD, leading academics, C40 Cities, The Energy Transition Commission and others. The following are the principles: 1. GO FASTER: Accelerate the transition to net zero; lock in carbon reductions & low carbon behaviours; lock out a rollback to business-as-usual; 2. DO BETTER: Measure what matters; judge success against more than economic indicators; inlcude biodiversity, wellbeing and carbon reductions; 3. BUILD STRONGER: Unleash potential of local communities & producers; showcase innovation and positive adaptation; empower everyone to play their part in building a city resilient to future crises; 4. THINK BIGGER: Covid-19 has broken the belief that big change can’t be done. The scale of our ambition, the breadth of our imagination; out commitment to collaborate and our willingness to embrace change must match the challenge of achieving net zero carbon emissions; 5. BE BOLDER: Use the voice as the capital of Scotland, to set the pace for climate action ahead of COP26; recognise the moral limits of markets and lead the debate on delivering a sustainable future.
Edinburgh Climate Commission 21st May 2020 read more »
A green recovery can produce higher returns on public spending and create more jobs in both the short term and the long term, compared to the alternative of pouring stimulus cash into the fossil fuel economy. Those findings come from a study of the potential for a green recovery, based on a survey of finance ministries and central bankers, and a comparison with the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, conducted by the Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, former World Bank chief economist Lord Stern, and leading economists from Oxford University.
Guardian 22nd May 2020 read more »
How can commuters be persuaded to also walk or cycle to work? Both activities have increased since the coronavirus curbs came in, with the Scottish Government figures showing walking up by 30 per cent and cycling by 50 per cent – with the latter representing a particularly significant rise. But they both dipped compared to last week, partly because of rain interrupting an amazing run of dry and sunny weather, conducive to those ways of travelling, which I can’t recall going on for so long in 20 years living in Glasgow. Could a financial carrot change thinking? Some transport experts I have spoken to believe paying people to cycle or walk should be considered.
Scotsman 22nd May 2020 read more »