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Glasgow pledges to be UK’s first carbon-neutral city

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the All Energy Exhibition Conference at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow.  May 2 2018.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the All Energy Exhibition Conference at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow. May 2 2018.

Glasgow has pledged to become the first carbon neutral city in the UK.

The city’s council and ScottishPower have announced a range of strategies in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions ahead of the new national target of 2045, from transport and heating to investment in renewable energy.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the pledge and said: “This month’s report from the Committee on Climate Change underlined the scale of the climate emergency.

That is why the Scottish Government moved quickly with changes to our Climate Change Bill to set a net zero target for Scotland by 2045.

“Today’s announcement between Scottish Power and Glasgow City Council – to make Glasgow the UK’s first net-zero city – is a very welcome step.

“Reaching our goals will need exactly this kind of partnership approach – with Government, business, local authorities and citizens all playing their part.”

Glasgow introduced the first low-emmision zone outside of London at the end of 2018, and now Scottish Power say that its plans for more workplace and public electric vehicle charging hubs will be at the heart of decarbonisation in the city.

Speaking ahead of the All Energy Conference being held in Glasgow, ScottishPower chief executive Keith Anderson said: “Scotland has rightly put itself at the top of the race to become net zero quicker than other places round the world. To succeed, our biggest city has to be the most ambitious and progressive in removing carbon emissions.

“We have a large supply of renewable energy on our doorstep and one of only two low emission zones in action across the UK. Now, we need to invest in the technologies and programmes that transform the rest of Glasgow’s economy and make us net zero before anyone else.

“It is our hope that this declaration kick starts a race to zero with other ambitious cities, like Edinburgh, because then we will all be winners. The prize is the future of our country and our planet.”

The ScottishPower boss also used the announcement to push for fewer regulations over renewable energy production, suggesting that the company could invest £6 billion in renewable capacity by 2022.

Susan Aitken, Glasgow City Council leader added: “Today I make a commitment that Glasgow is determined to lead the UK’s ‘race to zero’.

“From the research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the appeals from our classrooms, our streets and civic squares, we know that emissions reduction is the issue of our times.

“We simply have to act now and the Glasgow City Government will develop those partnerships necessary to get to where we simply have to be. We need to be a net-zero city. And we need to be the UK’s first net-zero city.”

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