Glasgow City Council has today (7 March) been given an update on the early progress on the implementation of the Glasgow Green Deal, the nine-year mission approved in October 2021 to transform the city's economy to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies.
Key achievements so far include the creation of a Green Economy Unit to lead the work on a just transition to a net-zero carbon, climate-resilient economy after funding was made available in the council budget, a dedicated £628,000 support programme - in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce - for the circular economy, helping the University of Glasgow secure a £10million grant to test approaches to facilitating new economic transitions, and successfully collaborating with the UK Core Cities to secure £1.5million from the UK Government for Phase 2 of the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission.
The three interlinked objectives of the Glasgow Green Deal are:
1) Reducing emissions and climate risk;
2) Creating sustainable jobs and quality places; and
3) Eliminating poverty and deliver justice through inclusion and equality.
Other notable examples of early progress made on the Deal has been made in areas such as business support, research and innovation, climate finance and inward investment, and employability and skills.
These examples include:
· Setting-up and launching - with Scottish Enterprise - a £500,000 regional low-carbon research and development grant for businesses to develop new products and services;
· A dedicated sustainability manager for the screen sector has been appointed, working with BECTU and a number of other partners, to improve sustainability practices in the film and TV industries;
· Phase 1 of the Climate Smart Forest Economy Programme (CSFEP) has been completed. CSEFP is an innovation project with EIT Climate-KIC, the Nature Conservancy, and the World Economic Forum, to redesign the construction value chain to increase the use of wood in the construction industry, lowering carbon and supporting growth of the forestry, construction and manufacturing and built environment sectors; and
· Evidence on the overall economic costs and benefits of the Glasgow Green Deal has been commissioned and is underway.
This work has been progressed in parallel with a Call for Views, Ideas and Participation on the Glasgow Green Deal, and today's update outlined the findings from that exercise. In response, the council has committed both to changing the scope and scale of the Green Deal, and the way in which is implemented.
As a result of the feedback, and further development, the Green Deal will also mainstream climate and equality objectives into wider economic development through a green business support programme, an enhanced employability and skills development programme, a more developed approach to research and innovation, and the creation of a climate finance lab for Glasgow, to develop new business models for city climate action, and also coordinate a pipeline of projects in the city.
The investment facilitated through the Glasgow Green Deal is projected to create over 14,500 extra jobs, as well as increasing inward investment, improving business competitiveness, ensuring a more fair and equal economy, improving the performance and reliability of the city's infrastructure, and supporting regeneration.
Councillor Angus Millar, Depute City Convener for Inclusive Economic Growth at Glasgow City Council, said: "The Glasgow Green Deal is an ambitious yet vital programme of work to transition our city's economy for a Net Zero future. It's fantastic to see even at this early stage how this is beginning to re-orient the city's economy to one that is fairer and greener, with strong early progress being made in a number of key areas which the establishment of a dedicated Green Economy Unit within the council will allow us to build on.
"The Green Deal is already seeing us secure investment for new projects in the city, introduce a green focus to our business support services, advance our work on promoting the circular economy, and align our employability and skills development work to the requirements of a just transition to net zero. I am encouraged by the early engagement with our Call for Ideas and look forward to continued dialogue and collaboration with people and organisations across the city as we look to put this transformational shift to a fairer, greener economy into effect."
In addition to the update on the overall Green Deal, the council committee was told that Glasgow and EIT Climate-KIC has been successful in securing additional funding from the Climate Smart Forest Economy Programme for a second phase of the Glasgow City Region Breakthrough Initiative.
The first phase of the region's initiative, also funded by the Climate Smart Forest Economy Programme (CSFEP), is complete. The CSEFP is an initiative of EIT Climate-KIC, the World Economic Forum and the World Resources Institute, with seed funding from the Good Energies Foundation, independent scientific advice from The Nature Conservancy, and support from Dalberg Catalyst. It aims to ensure that all forest value chains are "climate smart" and meet social and ecological safeguards. Increasing the use of sustainable forest products in building and construction could rapidly decarbonize this sector, while creating carbon sinks in cities.
Councillor Millar said of the additional funding: "This funding award is testament to the city's commitment and leadership in working towards the big structural shifts our economy needs to meet the challenges and opportunities of net zero and climate adaptation. The funding will see us begin to reshape and restructure operations in the forestry, built environment, construction and manufacturing sectors to drive long-term, sustainable economic value."
The final roadmap will be updated and published online by the end of June. This will be supported by a more detailed project plan and timescales for individual activities, to allow stakeholders to understand and engage with the deal. Progress on the overall implementation will be published through development of a public-facing annual report, highlighting key areas of progress and challenges.
Green New Deals are large scale sets of policies, regulations, programmes and investments designed to rapidly drop carbon emissions whilst also delivering economic prosperity and transition, whilst supporting people through the transition, similar to, but not directly equivalent to, the idea of the New Deal of the 1930s.
The Climate Smart Forest Economy Programme is a programme from EIT Climate-KIC, the World Economic Forum, and the World Resources Institute, with seed funding from the Good Energies Foundation. It also counts on independent scientific council from The Nature Conservancy, and support from Dalberg Catalyst.