Glasgow City Council has launched its new draft Green Deal, which sets a target of achieving net-zero by 2030, and lays out the framework for economic recovery post-pandemic – with environmental and economic stability pitched as the plan’s driving motivators.
The nine-year plan includes a pledge of £30bn ‘Greenprint of Inward Investment’, establishment of a regional EV charging network as well as a Circular and Climate Neutral Innovation District, and the planting of 18 million trees across the city region.
In an introduction to the report, UN Secretary General Antonio Guiterres said the report follows on from research from the IPCC that he says is a ‘code red for humanity.’
“The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk,” he says. “Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible.”
Climate change is anticipated to affect the region’s GDP by 2.5% annually by 2070. It is hoped that through the Green Deal these job losses, in addition to those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, could be targeted by the creation of more employment opportunities in the green sector.
The task is not an easy one, as the Council cautions in its introduction to the new plan.
“The scale of change towards a net zero carbon and climate resilient economy is orders of magnitude greater than the challenges our ‘Glasgow Fathers’ faced,” says Council Leader Susan Aitken. “Addressing the scale of the challenge at the same time as delivering economic restructuring and recovery requires us to innovate and collaborate like never before; to tap into and harness that same, visionary, aspirational and transformative spirit which has seen Glasgow prosper successfully over hundreds of years. This will not be easy – and indeed no city has all the answers about what a new economic model looks like. But, acknowledging it is needed and beginning the journey is the hardest part. So, I hope this document gives you hope – hope that, along with others we can meet the defining challenge of the generation, and that Glasgow City Council is committed to playing its part.”
The plan comes just as Glasgow gets ready to host COP26, and the city has already unveiled its £30bn ‘Greenprint for Investment’; a document detailing its pipeline of 10 climate investment projects to help reach the city’s 2030 Net-Zero goal.