Dear Green (Sustainable) Place
3rd Oct 2022
As Scotland’s Climate Week draws to a close, Glasgow’s sustainable credentials once again in the spotlight.
Glasgow Tops Sustainability Table
A new study has ranked Glasgow 13th out of 100 for sustainability among the world’s leading cities. Glasgow places behind only London and ahead of the rest of the UK’s cites.
The Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index 2022 highlights Glasgow’s clean air, plenty of green spaces, excellent waste management and low environmental exposure. It is also one of the most affordable cities to live in, ahead of several Chinese cities.
The ranking is based on three pillars: Planet, People, Profit. Glasgow topped the list in the People pillar with healthy, safe, well-connected environments and high job quality cited. Though it does concede income inequality as a challenge.
The most recent figures on carbon emissions and energy consumption released by Department for Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), shows that Glasgow's CO2 emissions in 2020 totalled 2,118,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
In the same year gas emissions dropped by 6%, and electricity emissions dropped 18%, from, from 2019.
While these are important achievements, they come with strong caveats due to the implications of Covid-19 that completely changed daily life for everyone and had a significant impact on the emissions profile of Glasgow in 2020.
Using projected figures, however, the city can estimate that emissions reductions in the absence of Covid-19, following a similar course to previous years, may have produced a decrease of around 7.6%, from 2019.
Regardless of the pandemic the city has met and exceeded its target to achieve a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 from the baseline year (2006).
Net Zero City
The council's support for Glasgow's transition to a net zero carbon city by 2030 through the Glasgow Climate Plan's policies, projects and actions continue to show steady returns and are having a positive impact:
- Increased EV charging infrastructure and improved EV Next Bike capacity are creating an environment that is convenient for residents to make low carbon choices.
- The continued rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure across the city saw significant increases in 2020, with an 124% increase in EV charging.
- Glasgow has also continued to progress its Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in the city.
- Continued rollout of solar PV alongside the contributions from both the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC), that delivers a saving of 90,000 tonnes of CO² every year, and the Cathkin Wind Turbine.
- Continued support for modal shift to forms of active travel.
- Reduction in council’s electricity consumption due to LED lighting installations and retrofits in buildings, street lighting and stair lighting.