City council announces ambitious investor programme in pursuit of climate challenge ambitions

A HUGELY ambitious set of ‘investor-ready’ projects have been unveiled by Glasgow’s local authority, to help the city respond to the climate challenge by massively reducing carbon emissions.

The ‘Greenprint for Investment’ initiative is estimated to be valued at £30bn.

And, says a media release issued (here) by the city council, the programme “provides international and activist investors with a mix of decarbonising and transformative development opportunities as well as more traditional robust, investor-ready propositions”.

In the run-up to the city hosting the upcoming COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, in November, the council has identified ten projects to help in its pursuit of ‘carbon net-zero’ ambitions by 2030.

Adds the release: “In June, the city announced that it had reduced its carbon emissions by 41 per cent since 2006, surpassing the 30 per cent target Glasgow set for 2020.”

Projects include scaling up a regional forest by 9,000 hectares, a Glasgow Metro connecting the city region, a city-wide retrofit programme to make all homes energy-efficient and provide new clean energy sources, and a proposal to power district heating systems using the River Clyde.

The portfolio of projects outlined within the prospectus relate to four umbrella United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 8) Decent Work and Economic Growth; 11) Sustainable Cities and Communities; 13) Climate Action; and 17) Partnerships for the Goals. The SDGs are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

The scheme was flagged up in an interview by council leader, Susan Aitken, in a ‘big read’ interview given to the Herald on Sunday newspaper last month.

The ten featured projects in Greenprint for Investment are:

  • Clyde Climate Forest: The Clyde Climate Forest aims to plant 18 million trees in Glasgow City Region over the next decade. That represents over 9,000 hectares (or 17,000 football fields) of new woodlands – increasing forest and woodland cover by three per cent and will significantly increase the extent of atmospheric carbon sequestration through tree growth in the region.
  • Glasgow City Region Home Energy Retrofit Programme: A ten-year £10 billion programme to upgrade the insulation of all homes in the Glasgow City Region to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, give greater energy security, lower household energy bills, warmer homes and better health outcomes through reduced fuel poverty. The project explores the use of innovative renewable technologies to deliver clean energy.
  • Glasgow’s District Heating Network: Glasgow is focused on transforming its energy production and consumption, scaling up the achievements of the £154 million Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC) to kick-start a wider district heating network. Two key projects in Polmadie and Gorbals districts act as testbeds and an unique and innovative proposal to harness the power of the River Clyde for the city’s heat demands is underway.
  • Climate Neutral Innovation District: The University of Strathclyde is leading an innovative and ambitious project to make the Glasgow City Innovation District 100 per cent climate neutral and climate resilient. The collaboration between the University, Glasgow City Council and a range of other city stakeholders, will integrate 100 per cent renewable heat, power, transport, climate adaptation and wellbeing solutions that will benefit citizens, businesses and organisations within the district, creating a unique ecosystem within the UK that drives carbon-neutral innovation.
  • Charing Cross M8 Green Infrastructure Cap: Plans for this new, connected urban environment will revitalise and re-green the city’s public realm, including a cap over a major interchange of the M8, the busiest motorway in Scotland.
  • Glasgow Metro is a new transport provision that will improve connectivity within Glasgow and the wider city region encompassing a population of 1.8 million by providing accessible and affordable connectivity for a wider skilled labour workforce, businesses and visitors.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland: Scotland’s new home of advanced manufacturing with ambitions to drive the wider UK’s low carbon transition. With outline planning permission and on-site enabling works, this emerging centre of excellence and innovation is crucial to national and international carbon reduction efforts and is part of Scotland’s answer to balancing manufacturing requirements while meeting net-zero commitments.
  • Micro Park Apparel Project: In terms of apparel sustainability, over £365 billion of waste clothing is discarded each year, with a further £220 billion in lost revenue due to product markdowns. Micro Park will aim to create a new location for fashion production in the UK, embedding circularity across all areas of activity including resource use, textile and fibre reuse and packaging. Benefiting from Scotland’s high percentage of renewable energy supply, it will use 100 per cent renewable energy, generate no liquid waste and have no negative environmental impacts.
  • Scottish Event Campus (SEC) Expansion: Expansion plans including an ambitious energy concept aim to turn the SEC into one of the world’s most sustainable campuses and includes several globally-competitive and cutting-edge conference and exhibition innovations. Investment will drive organisational targets to achieve net-zero by 2035 with significant reductions by 2031.
  • Green Regeneration and Innovation District: As Scotland’s first Green Regeneration and Innovation District, Clyde Gateway is working to decarbonise travel and energy for homes and businesses while providing the local community a place to live and work in a low carbon and resilient neighbourhood. Investment opportunities in this regeneration areas across all sectors including commercial, residential and hotel, will encourage circularity in the built environment.

Picture credit: Glasgow City Council