Edinburgh launches sustainable development framework
The Sustainable Scotland Network reports on Edinburgh’s new vision for the sustainable development of the City to 2020, with a framework for action which will be embedded into all Council policies, programmes and services.
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The City of Edinburgh Council has made a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by over 40% across the city by 2020. The pledge is one of six climate change targets that form part of the Council’s new Sustainable Development Framework, which was approved by Councillors on 14 June.
Edinburgh’s Framework, Sustainable Edinburgh 2020 – Engaging with our City’s Future, aims to “address social, economic and environmental issues in an integrated way” and was based on the Aalborg Charter, a framework for the delivery of local sustainable development that has been adopted by more than 2,000 European local and regional governments. The new Framework covers ten key areas: energy, waste, transport, planning, resource use, the economy, health, climate change, and two “process” topics of governance and management.
Engagement – of internal Council staff, partner organisations and the community – is recognised by the Council as being critical to the overall success of the Framework and identifying sustainability priorities for the city. The council aims to use online surveys, briefings, workshops and presentations to engage with stakeholders “from the outset”, and plans to publish a report in December, detailing the findings and outcomes of the engagement exercises and outlining proposals for the next phase in the development of a Sustainable Edinburgh 2020.
Commenting on the new Framework, City of Edinburgh Council Chief Executive Sue Bruce said:
“To develop this work in a meaningful way, we recognise the need to engage with Edinburgh’s communities, those views can help shape the way the Council makes decisions about sustainable development and influence the way the city develops. It’s more than just about ‘being green’. It is about balancing social, economic and environmental issues in an efficient and equitable way.”
The Framework additionally commits the Council to developing “a robust set of indicators” to allow the Council to measure and report on progress. The Council stated that some initial work had already been undertaken on developing a suite of indicators under the broad themes of economy, society and environment.
Edinburgh’s six climate change targets are:
- Reduced carbon emissions by over 40% across the city.
- More efficient energy consumption across all sectors by at least 12%.
- More renewable energy with renewable energy technologies contributing to at least 40% of energy consumed in the city.
- More low carbon transport using alternative technologies for transporting people and goods around the city.
- Adapted to the unavoidable impacts of climate change in partnership with key stakeholders and local communities.
- Increased our microgeneration capacity to 10%.
Read the related City of Edinburgh Council press release and download the Sustainable Development Framework here.
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