A Just Transition to a net zero economy

To date, Glasgow’s progress with cutting emissions has mostly come from national action like moving to renewable power. We can and must do more locally - on heating buildings, making them efficient, and on sustainable travel. Greens will deliver an ambitious, net zero transition plan, creating well-paid green jobs, investing in local supply chains, and laying the foundation for a just and prosperous future, in which no one is left behind. Our focus will be on action and delivery that recognises the urgency of the climate emergency.

Political and policy leadership

We will:

  • Establish a Glasgow Just Transition Board incorporating communities, universities and colleges, employers and trade unions, to plan and deliver the jobs and skills needed to end our reliance on fossil fuels. This will include retraining programmes to retain skilled local workers for net zero priorities such as heat networks and home energy retrofits.
  • Create a new position within the Council of Cabinet Member for the Climate and Nature Emergencies, giving these the political priority they need, and strengthen oversight of climate action with a new Climate, Energy and Just Transition scrutiny committee.
  • Publish an update to Glasgow’s Climate Plan, setting out a detailed, carbon-budgeted route to net zero. This will focus on reducing emissions, not mitigating them through offsetting measures, and it will set out a much more detailed and action-oriented delivery plan.

Investing in a Green recovery

We will:

  • Review the Council’s current capital investment plans, including the City Deal, to make sure all investment is targeted at tackling the climate emergency and reversing social inequality. 
  • Ensure the full, effective divestment of the Strathclyde Pension Fund from fossil fuels and the arms trade, and create opportunities for the fund to invest more locally, including bringing more land and assets under public control. 
  • Make effective use of the Council’s borrowing powers and explore the potential to issue green investment bonds.
  • Make energy efficiency a major investment priority, expand public and community-owned renewables and local heat networks, and ensure low carbon projects deliver local economic and community benefits. 
  • Support the development of green hydrogen, which could play a limited but important role in sectors where there are no current alternatives, but oppose risky, unproven and unsustainable technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

Warm, green homes for all

We will:

  • As part of our commitment to a Just Transition, ensure that retrofit and heat decarbonisation is easy and affordable for everyone and that the costs for those in fuel poverty are met in full.
  • Require all new homes to meet passivhaus or other net-zero standards, be connected to the public transport system and city cycle network and walking routes, and be built in areas that are not in flood-risk zones. This will apply to all homes built from 2022 onwards.
  • Work with the Scottish Government to ensure a minimum energy performance certificate grade C for all homes at point of sale or rental from 2025, with a target backstop date of 2030 for all properties, including those in mixed tenure blocks.
  • Scale-up existing energy efficiency and green heat programmes, taking a cost-effective whole street approach, and support ‘people powered retrofits’ based on co-operative principles to maximise local impact. 
  • Expand support for district heating networks, and require new developments over a certain size threshold to incorporate district heating
  • Address embedded carbon in buildings with measures to reduce demolition and increase reuse of buildings.

The Council leading by example

We will:

  • Improve the heat and energy efficiency of schools and other Council buildings, installing roof-top solar panels where suitable, and implementing low carbon heat systems in all new developments.
  • Continue to decarbonise the council’s travel and fleet, identifying journeys that could be avoided or switched to active travel, and moving others to electric and hydrogen vehicles. Support the installation of charging points at council premises.
  • Ensure Council procurement benefits the city economy, supports fair work, and excludes tax avoiders. Measure ‘whole life costs’ and identify opportunities to buy re-used or remanufactured items as standard.
  • Review current car parking and mileage arrangements for senior staff and explore options to subsidise public transport for employees within the Glasgow City Council area.
  • Train councillors and key council staff in carbon literacy so that they are informed to lead the transition to net zero.

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