Edinburgh's Climate Compact Highlights Impact Of Teamwork And Collaboration In Addressing Climate Change

Fri, 12/18/2020 - 00:00

The Edinburgh Climate Compact is a unique opportunity for Scotland’s capital to show the world the power that teamwork and collaboration has in addressing the climate emergency.

It is the first of its kind in Scotland and moves the city on from its declaration of a climate emergency in 2019 towards the ambitious target it set itself to meet net zero emissions by 2030.

The Edinburgh Climate Compact has been signed by six key businesses and employers, including Robertson Group, City of Edinburgh Council, NatWest, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian.

And as founder “City Climate Champions” each signatory has made a series of decarbonisation commitments, to support Edinburgh’s ambition to reach net zero by 2030.

As a result of signing the Compact, it means these City Climate Champions are publicly committing to undertake ambitious action in various areas, helping Edinburgh move forward, faster, together on its decarbonisation journey.  

Key focus areas of the Compact include action in relation to:

  • Business Operations: including publishing how they plan to cut carbon emissions within their organisation and target dates for progress.
  • Influence and leadership, such as providing training for staff to develop their awareness and understanding of climate change.
  • Transport through actions such as prioritising active and sustainable travel in their workforce
  • Buildings including maximising and optimising energy use from sustainable energy sources.

Forward, Faster Together

It is the first time in Scotland that a commitment like this has been agreed publicly.

It is also testament to the passion and ambition of our founder City Climate Champions that they are willing to publicly declare their dedication to making a positive difference to climate change.

And, the significance of getting such a range of influential organisations to come together and agree to such significant changes to their business practices, only serves to highlight the impact that climate change will have on our everyday lives in the years to come. 

The move sends a clear signal to organisations spanning the city’s economy, citizens and the wider national and international community that we in Edinburgh are serious about addressing the devastating impacts of climate change. In the lead up to COP26 in November 2021, when the eyes of the world are turned to Scotland, the nation’s Capital must seize the opportunity to show what can be achieved if we work together.  The Edinburgh Climate Compact is a significant step forward on that journey.

Our commitment to addressing climate change

As the owner of the Edinburgh Climate Compact, our role as the Commission will be to convene, catalyse and challenge our City Climate Champions to go further, faster. We will help push forward and promote their ambitious action to move towards net zero and celebrating the new normal of sustainable business practice.

We will meet with city Climate Champions on a regular basis to report progress, celebrate and share best practice, with a view to building momentum and tangible results for Edinburgh.

And, as the recent publication of PCAN’s Roadmap to Net Zero has made it clear, teamwork of this kind is essential in order to support Edinburgh ambitious emissions targets in the timescale it has set itself.

By working together, the City Climate Champions will facilitate and accelerate a green recovery for our Capital City, bringing different parts of our economy together to support Edinburgh and its citizens.

On the path to a new normal – will you join us as City Climate Champions?

A truly green recovery requires Edinburgh to invest in a new future. One where we use our voice as the capital of Scotland, to set the pace for climate action ahead of COP26 and to empower organisations to play their part in building a city resilient to future crises.

We are confident that the actions of the founder City Climate Champions will inspire other businesses and employers across the city to follow suit and join  the Edinburgh City Compact to make the changes we so desperately need to see happen  -a future  new normal of sustainable business practices across Scotland.

Our Climate Compact is the first of its kind in Scotland, but I doubt it will be the last.  True success would see City Compacts being set up across Scotland, all working together to decarbonise and create sustainable and resilient communities. 

Are you willing to commit and make those changes?

By Commissioner Claire Forster. Claire led on the Climate Compact workstream for the Commission