Edinburgh more climate aware than other Scottish cities

A new report has suggested that Edinburgh households are more climate aware and generate less waste per resident than those of any other major Scottish city.

The 13th annual edition of Edinburgh by Numbers, provides a statistical overview of the capital and how it compares to other UK cities in terms of People, Work, Economy, Tourism, Education, Environment, Property, Travel and Connectivity.

In Scotland, Edinburgh households are more climate aware and generate less waste per resident than those of any other major Scottish City (373 tonnes per 1,000 population - the lowest per Scottish city). Furthermore, Edinburgh recycled 42.6 per cent of its household waste on average in the three-year period from 2016 to 2018, more than other Scottish cities.

The research also found that 87 per cent of people in Edinburgh are satisfied with public transport in the city. This is higher than the rate recorded in other Scottish cities, with one in four people reporting that they use the bus either every or almost every day. In other green findings, 34 parks in Edinburgh were awarded a green flag. This was an increase from 13 parks in 2010. In fact, Edinburgh makes up 48 per cent of all Green Flag awarded parks in Scotland.

Across the UK, Edinburgh recorded the fourth largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per population out of UK major cities during 2010 to 2017 and has been named ‘the greenest city in UK’ in 2019 in a study by First Mile. This looked at everything from recycling, air quality, pollution levels, plastics use, green spaces use to the number of electric vehicles and levels of disposable fashion consumption.

Adam McVey, leader of the council, said: “It also comes just after Edinburgh being announced in December as the second most sustainable City in the UK - thanks to our fantastic parks, recycling rate and range of other green initiatives driving up quality of life and driving down our environmental impact. We are seeing a worldwide effort to tackle the reality of climate change and as the capital city, we’re at the forefront of leading this change. This edition of Edinburgh by Numbers reminds us of our existing efforts to boost our city’s sustainability and reinforces our ambitious plans to cut carbon to net zero by 2030.

“The report demonstrates that the capital is growing, prosperous, successful and competitive in a global context. Our economic and business indicators are some of the strongest outside of London and our employment market remain resilient. Unemployment in the year to March 2019 was 3.6 per cent - lower than any other major UK city. Of course, with Edinburgh’s population growing by 13 per cent in the last decade as well as a growing region and more wanting to visit, our infrastructure and services will feel that pressure. We’re determined to respond to and manage this level of growth in terms of the impact on housing, transport and other frontline services. We’re progressing a Transient Visitor Levy to give us more resources to help invests in the solutions needed to better manage the city. Our game-changing City Centre Transformation plans, to make Edinburgh as pleasant, accessible and sustainable a place to live as it can be will be central to this.”