Plastic-free shopping zone considered in bid to make Glasgow carbon neutral city

A plastic-free shopping zone and major tree planting programme will be considered as Glasgow bids to become a carbon neutral city by 2030.

Glasgow City Council. Picture: John Devlin

A new report published by Glasgow's Climate Emergency Working Group contains more than 60 recommendations to help meet the target.

The group said the low energy efficiency of the city's older housing stock should be addressed, and consideration should be given to a wider roll-out of car free zones at schools and other locations.

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The working group, which was set up in February, includes representatives from all four political groups on the city council, citizen activist groups and the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

The group notes that its recommendations are "undoubtedly challenging for the council and its partners", and that they will require "very significant changes in the approaches taken towards policy-making, service delivery and performance management".

However, the report also concludes "all of the scientific evidence shows that action needs to be taken right now to prevent dangerous levels of climate change and in order to safeguard current and future generations".

The report notes there would be "very significant implications for the ways in which the council sets and assesses its budgets, and potentially for new resources to be sought in support of the working group's recommendations".

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At a meeting of all 83 Glasgow councillors in May, a climate emergency was formally declared.

Councillor Martha Wardrop, who chaired the working group, said there can be no delay in acting on the report's recommendations.

She said: "With only 10 years to make radical changes, we need action to start right away.

"The climate emergency must also be placed front and centre of Glasgow's economy and so a revised economic strategy for the city is essential.

"But we also need the Scottish and UK governments to do their bit, particularly on decarbonising how we heat our homes."

Councillor Anna Richardson, convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said work will start immediately on addressing the climate emergency.

She said: "As a council we will seek to bring forward an implementation plan that responds to the climate emergency recommendations as soon as possible.

"Work will start immediately to ensure that the climate emergency becomes embedded in every policy and strategy that the council is currently developing.

"Cities have an opportunity to lead the response to the global climate emergency, and the work of the Climate Emergency Working Group means that Glasgow is now well placed to show that leadership