Tackling the Coronavirus pandemic in Edinburgh and the climate crisis must go hand in hand. That’s according to a new report issued by the city’s Green councillors today (Thursday 4 June).
As the capital gradually eases out of lockdown, the Greens have warned of the dangers of returning to “business as usual”, with existing problems like congestion, pollution, homelessness and inequality simply returning or worsening. To do so, says the party, would be “jumping from the Coronavirus frying pan into the climate crisis fire”.
“Coronavirus is the most immediate threat we all face, but the climate crisis remains the largest. Edinburgh has set an urgent target to be zero carbon by 2030 and action can’t be put on the back burner. If that were to happen it would be simply jumping from the Coronavirus frying pan into the climate crisis fire.
“The good news is that cities across the world are committing to Green New Deals at the heart of how they deliver Recovery phase from Coronavirus. There are massive job and training opportunities from investment in low carbon neighbourhoods, transforming our transport systems, properly supporting remote working, local food production and many others. At the same time, outdoor learning in schools, wildlife in parks and green spaces and community action to improve local areas can all be given a major boost.
“That is why Green councillors have today published a ten-point plan for a Green Recovery in Edinburgh, explaining how a Coronavirus recovery can be a green recovery, for jobs, for quality of life and for a sustainable Edinburgh.”
Among the Green proposals are:
– Boosting plans to help people to walk, cycle or using electric cargo bikes and vehicles.
– Re-focusing the £1.33 billion City Deal to support home-working and remote learning; local food markets and regional energy planning
– Accelerating city-wide tree planting programmes
– Reducing pressure on greenbelt land by bringing back into use thousands of private empty homes and unused holiday lets.