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City of Edinburgh Council

Declarations & pledges

Climate emergency declaration

This council declared a climate emergency on Feb. 7, 2019.

Whole area pledge for 2030

“Edinburgh has declared a ‘climate emergency’ and set ambitious targets for reducing emissions to zero by 2030, with a hard-target for 2037.”

Climate Plan Scorecard

This council’s climate plans as of 20th September 2021 were assessed and scored by trained Climate Emergency UK volunteers, as part of the Council Climate Plan Scorecards project.

Show the full Scorecard Read more about the scoring process

City of Edinburgh Council was a top performer amongst single tier councils.

SectionCity of Edinburgh CouncilAverage single tier council
Top performer Total score82%50%
Section 1 Governance, development and funding
20/21
10.3/21
Section 2 Mitigation and adaptation
16/18
9.0/18
Section 3 · Top performer Commitment and integration
7/7
4.1/7
Section 4 Community, engagement and communications
6/9
5.1/9
Section 5 Measuring and setting emissions targets
4/5
2.9/5
Section 6 Co-benefits
3/4
2.2/4
Section 7 Diversity and inclusion
2/5
0.9/5
Section 8 · Top performer Education, skills and training
5/5
2.3/5
Section 9 Ecological emergency
3/4
2.1/4

Emissions reduction projects

Local authorities in Scotland are required to publish yearly data on their compliance with their climate change duties – including the emissions reduction projects they are undertaking.

See all of City of Edinburgh Council’s projects

49

Projects

8.3 ktCO2 per year

Total annual emissions savings

£14,354,588.7

Total capital cost

Emissions data

1952.1 ktCO2

Total 2019 emissions

3.7 tCO2

per person

7.2 ktCO2

per km2

18%

Commercial

37%

Domestic

7%

Industry

9%

Public Sector

29%

Transport

Data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy “subset dataset”, representing carbon dioxide emissions within the scope of influence of local authorities.

These councils are the most similar to City of Edinburgh Council in terms of emissions profile, deprivation, rural/urban population density, and geographical nearness. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Aberdeen City Council85%Yes2045No
Dundee City Council78%Yes2045June 24, 2019
Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council74%Yes2030April 3, 2019
Glasgow City Council71%Yes2030May 16, 2019
Renfrewshire Council70%No2030June 27, 2019
West Dunbartonshire Council70%Yes2045May 29, 2019
Sheffield City Council69%Yes2050Feb. 6, 2019
City of York Council69%No2030March 11, 2019
Chorley Council68%No2030Nov. 19, 2019
North Lanarkshire Council67%Yes2030June 20, 2019

These councils are the most similar to City of Edinburgh Council in terms of their emissions profile, based on the latest data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council88%Yes2030April 3, 2019
Aberdeen City Council88%Yes2045No
Dundee City Council85%Yes2045June 24, 2019
Liverpool City Council84%Yes2030July 17, 2019
West Dunbartonshire Council84%Yes2045May 29, 2019
Sheffield City Council79%Yes2050Feb. 6, 2019
Glasgow City Council78%Yes2030May 16, 2019
Runnymede Borough Council77%NoNo targetOct. 17, 2019
Manchester City Council76%Yes2038July 10, 2019
Preston City Council75%No2030April 18, 2019

These councils grographically border or overlap with City of Edinburgh Council. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Midlothian Council97%No2030Dec. 17, 2019
West Lothian Council96%NoNo targetSept. 24, 2019
East Lothian Council92%No2045Aug. 27, 2019
Scottish Borders Council91%Yes2045Sept. 5, 2020

These councils are the most similar to City of Edinburgh Council in terms of the proportion of their population living in high deprivation, medium deprivation, and low deprivation neighbourhoods. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Cheltenham Borough Council98%Yes2030Feb. 18, 2019
North Somerset Council94%Yes2030Feb. 19, 2019
London Borough of Bromley94%Yes2029No
Cheshire East Council (Unitary)93%Yes2025May 22, 2019
Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council92%Yes2038Nov. 28, 2018
London Borough of Sutton91%No2045July 22, 2019
Vale of Glamorgan Council91%Yes2030July 29, 2019
Canterbury City Council90%Yes2030July 18, 2019
Hampshire County Council90%No2050June 17, 2019
Swindon Borough Council90%Yes2030No

These councils are the most similar to City of Edinburgh Council in terms of the proportion of their population living in urban, rural, and highly rural neighbourhoods. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council99%Yes2038July 17, 2019
Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council99%Yes2030April 3, 2019
Leeds City Council99%No2030March 27, 2019
St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council98%Yes2040June 10, 2019
Epsom and Ewell Borough Council98%Yes2035July 23, 2019
Three Rivers District Council98%No2030May 21, 2019
London Borough of Hillingdon98%Yes2030Jan. 16, 2020
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council98%Yes2030July 18, 2019
Burnley Borough Council98%No2030July 10, 2019
Bury Metropolitan Borough Council98%Yes2038July 10, 2019

Powers & Responsibilities

City of Edinburgh Council is a Unitary Authority, with powers over:

Council buildings and staff

Climate actions might include:

  • making council offices more energy efficient
  • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
  • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    Environmental health

    Climate actions might include:

    • reducing industrial emissions through air quality enforcement
    • bringing up insulation and energy efficiency standards through enforcement of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and Decent Homes Standard 2000, for cold and damp conditions in private rental and social housing

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Passenger transport

    Climate actions might include:

    • encouraging bus and private hire operators to use low-emission vehicles, through licensing requirements or Clean Air Zones
    • incentivising bus use by improving routes, timetables, and ticket prices through ‘Enhanced Partnerships’ with operators
    • proposing to central government the development of light rail / tram networks that integrate, rather than compete, with other modes of transport in the area

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Planning and building control

    Climate actions might include:

    • imposing reasonable requirements that new developments comply with energy efficiency standards and get a proportion of their energy from local, renewable sources (Planning and Energy Act, 2008)
    • incorporating additional energy performance standards into their Local Plan, for new works that require planning permission
    • using Area Action Plans to guide development proposals towards lower carbon emissions or more cycling and walking routes, for example
    • enforcing legislation that requires private rental properties to be of Energy Efficiency Rating E or above (Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2015)
    • funding energy efficiency improvements on existing homes, through initiatives such as Green Homes Grants

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Schools and libraries

    Climate actions might include:

    • reducing the carbon footprint of civic buildings through better insulation and renewable energy use
    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
    • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    • encouraging eco-clubs at schools
    • using school land to plant trees and hedgerows, or to grow food

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Housing

    Climate actions might include:

    • setting energy standards above building regulations (Planning and Energy Act, 2008)
    • enabling housing associations to improve the energy efficiency of their housing stock through loans
    • where councils operate their own social housing, prioritising energy efficiency – for example, by requiring Passivhaus standard for newly built schemes

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Spending, procuring, and investing

    Climate actions might include:

    • embedding carbon impact assessment as part of the council’s budgeting and financial accountability process
    • utilising Public Works Loan Board loans or the Business Rates Retention Scheme to invest in emissions-reducing capital projects that otherwise wouldn’t get funded
    • specifying low carbon equipment and practices when procuring for relevant services from suppliers
    • prioritising positive environmental impacts during procurement, through the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
    Transport planning

    Climate actions might include:

    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ like walking and cycling by creating or widening footways and cycleways
    • incentivising Electric Vehicle use by assigning street space to EV charging
    • disincentivising the use of fossil fuel cars through congestion charging,low-traffic neighbourhoods, or the reduction of parking space

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Waste collection and disposal

    Climate actions might include:

    • establishing ‘Joint Waste Solutions’ with neighbouring councils, to get more value out of waste, recycling, and street cleaning contracts
    • running marketing campaigns to encourage residential recycling, reuse, and waste minimisation

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Read more about local authority powers across the UK, at The Institute for Government.

    More about this council

    edinburgh.gov.uk
    City of Edinburgh Council’s official homepage.
    @Edinburgh_CC
    City of Edinburgh Council’s Twitter account.
    Tyndall Centre Carbon Budget report
    Check City of Edinburgh Council’s ‘carbon budget’ – their share towards meeting the UK’s Paris agreement targets.

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    Cite this page

    mySociety, Climate Emergency UK (2022). Climate Action Plan Explorer: City of Edinburgh Council. Available at: http://data.climateemergency.uk/councils/city-of-edinburgh-council/ [Accessed 23 May 2022].

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