Glasgow moots climate bonds. National, local and regional governments are facing hefty up-front costs as they strip carbon out of some of their economies. Some are turning to the debt market – issuing special “climate bonds” – to raise the capital they need to carry out green reforms. Glasgow council has been urged to considering doing so by a working group of influential councillors and advisers. The city has ambitious plans for the city to become the first in the UK to get to zero-net carbon, when it takes out as much of the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere as it puts in. The authority has concrete proposals to replace its entire fleet of 2000 cars, bin lorries and gritters with electric and hydrogen vehicles. It has already secured some Scottish Government funding to convert some of its snow-clearers in to dual-fuel hydrogen power. Its aim? N t just to make its own services green but to seed a market so commercial operators can change too. In the long run electric vehicles have lower running costs, experts believe. But they are more expensive to buy than their diesel equivalents. At least for now. Such initiatives will take municipal leadership. And municipal cash. The council has set up a working group to trash out how it gets to zero net carbon. Its recommendations are still under consideration. One is for climate bonds. That means the up-front costs of things like new vehicles could be spread out over years. In its report, the group said it “heard of action by other cities to develop municipal climate bonds in order to fund low carbon developments. “We commend this model and think the city should explore its potential application to Glasgow.
Herald 14th Sept 2019 read more »