City of Edinburgh Council has unveiled a new sustainable energy action plan for the city, which aims to drastically reduce carbon emissions.
The Council’s Media Officer Noel Miller revealed that several organisations had met with council representatives on 1st December “to pledge their commitment to the City of Edinburgh Council led Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP).”
The scheme marks the city’s first energy action plan, and aims to “transform the capital’s energy use by reducing demand and encouraging local generation.”
The decision comes as world leaders convene in Paris for the ongoing Climate Change Conference.
Several prominent businesses in the city have already pledged their support to the council’s action plan, including Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University, NHS Lothian, Standard Life, and BT Scotland.
Environmental Convener at City of Edinburgh Council, Lesley Hinds said: “The SEAP is a city-wide plan, not just a council initiative. Everyone who lives and works in the city can play their part in reducing carbon emissions and the SEAP target is only achievable through city-wide support. The SEAP will seek to develop and therefore be constantly evolving to reflect this involvement with as many stakeholders as possible.
“The eight organisations who have pledged have a large sphere of influence throughout the city, and our combined efforts to find innovative solutions to energy requirements and to reduce our carbon emissions has the potential to make a much larger impact through this partnership.”
Jamie Pearson, Environment and Sustainability Manager for Edinburgh Napier University, commented that the university was “excited” to take part in the council’s scheme. “The plan itself actually ties in with a lot of what we do already at the university, though this is on a somewhat larger scale.
“What this also represents is a bigger partnership between the institutions of Napier, Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College, as well as businesses such as RBS and Standard Life.”
Professor Gillian Hogg, Deputy Head of External Relations at Heriot Watt, said: “This is a practical step towards an ambitious goal. The proposed partnership would allow our staff and students to share that expertise and hopefully offer them practical opportunities to contribute towards the wider aims of the project.”
The Paris Climate Change Conference is expected to conclude on the 11th December. Edinburgh Council hopes that the conference will play a role in spurring the wider community to participate in the new energy scheme.