The commission has been established to connect stakeholders from the business, public and civil society sectors and will work to create opportunities for local climate action.
The Edinburgh Climate Commission, tasked with driving action on the climate crisis and the Scottish capital’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, has appointed its first chair.
Meanwhile, in a separate announcement, the city council said work towards a low emission zone (LEZ) scheme in Edinburgh is “well underway”, with the first phase proposed to take effect later this year.
The commission has been established to connect networks of stakeholders from the business, public and civil society sectors and will work to create opportunities for local climate action which link to local and national government climate and energy policies.
The commission is co-sponsored by the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) and the city council, with funding support from the Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN).
“The commission will focus its work on helping to unlock the delivery of the measures we know we must take, not only to tackle climate change but to help build a better future for all of Edinburgh.”
Dr Sam Gardner, who is head of climate change and sustainability at ScottishPower and former deputy director for WWF Scotland, will lead the commission. He has begun to appoint fellow commissioners from a variety of backgrounds and sectors in the city and areas of climate expertise to the panel. These include energy, transport, housing, tourism, civil society and public bodies.
“The commission will focus its work on helping to unlock the delivery of the measures we know we must take, not only to tackle climate change but to help build a better future for all of Edinburgh,” said Dr Gardner.
“The scale of the transformation Edinburgh faces is significant, but the rewards are even greater; to be successful we will all have a part to play and those with the greatest responsibility must show the greatest leadership. We have entered the climate decade of delivery and this will be the touchstone the commission will hold itself to.”
Appointed members include:
The full list of commissioners will be announced in advance of the commission’s first meeting at the end of March.
“Our PCAN project drives city ambition by sharing expertise and knowledge across UK cities, and by engaging all city stakeholders in place-based climate action.”
“We’re delighted to partner with the city of Edinburgh on accelerating our city’s journey to net-zero and delivering this by 2030,” added Jamie Brogan, head of innovation and skills at the ECCI.
“Climate change is a collective challenge, and it needs everyone in our city to contribute. Our PCAN project drives city ambition by sharing expertise and knowledge across UK cities, and by engaging all city stakeholders in place-based climate action.”
A report to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Transport and Environment Committee updates members on progress and recommends the introduction of a LEZ applying to buses in 2020, as well as providing a response to Transport Scotland’s consultation on LEZ regulations and guidance.
The council is seeking to implement LEZ using regulations and guidance currently under public consultation by Transport Scotland. The regulations, which will address the operation of LEZs, their enforcement and penalties applied, are not expected to be complete and available for use until the end of 2020.
In order to implement the LEZ project with immediate effect, the report recommends the council develops a proposal to the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland to introduce and enforce LEZs for buses. This would allow Edinburgh to ensure bus operators are making the necessary improvements to their fleets to address air quality issues.
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