Edinburgh needs to back ambitious climate targets with a climate emergency budget, argues Gavin Corbett. A growing number of public bodies have declared a climate emergency, City of Edinburgh Council among them. And for good reason. From the United Nations to Sir David Attenborough, there have been stark warnings that climate change is the greatest threat facing humankind, with particular devastating impacts on the poorest people and on the many species with which we share the planet. The context is sadly familiar. As it stands, the grant offer from the Scottish Government gives a flat cash settlement to Edinburgh. Even with council tax used to its full extent, this still leaves the council with a £35m hole, given expanding numbers in schools at one end of the age spectrum and the need to provide care to a rising number of older people at the other. In such a context, finding money to turn climate targets into budget proposals isn’t easy. On the other hand, get it right, and schools can be spending on jotters not fuel bills, or on fresh food and tap water, not plastic packaging. More walking and cycling means healthier people and less congestion. Protection and enhancement of natural spaces means better wellbeing.
Edinburgh Greens 19th Feb 2020 read more »