Cities that prioritise improving the environment, reducing carbon emissions and investing in the green economy are not only healthier, more liveable and more attractive for citizens and visitors alike. Evidence shows they are also better able to withstand economic shocks, drive innovation and maintain sustainable economic growth, thereby protecting investment in local services and reducing inequalities.
The SNP believes that Glasgow has the potential to join the world’s leading green cities - but not enough has yet been done to realise that potential. Compared to many cities of similar size, the development of Glasgow as a sustainable city is still in its early stages. We have strong foundations – including a world-leading academic sector and a growing low carbon jobs base. The time has come to harness the expertise and knowledge across the city, sharpen our focus and step up the activities that contribute towards building a more sustainable Glasgow.
An SNP City Government will put sustainability at the heart of all of our activities, from economic development to traffic management, from neighbourhood regeneration to education. We will join many of our European neighbours in aspiring to become a carbon neutral city, setting an ambitious 20 year target for Glasgow reach that goal.
By working together with local businesses, public transport companies, officials from other cities and communities across Glasgow we will develop key decarbonisation systems that reduce our emissions and meet the needs of local communities. We will seek to join the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and C40 so that we may share and learn best practices to reach our carbon neutral goals.
Glasgow has one of the worst records for poor air quality in the UK. Air pollution is estimated to contribute directly to 300 deaths in the city every year, with the old, the sick and the poor most badly affected. Improving Glasgow’s air quality is a serious social justice challenge for the Council.
An SNP City Government will establish Scotland’s first Low Emissions Zone in Glasgow, beginning in the most polluted parts of the city centre but with the aim of expanding to other parts of the city with a record of high emissions. We will work with bus operators to refresh their Statutory Quality Partnership with the City Council, with a renewed focus on removing the most polluting diesel buses from our streets and replacing them with greener vehicles, and we will review traffic management in the city centre with the aim of significantly reducing congestion. We will encourage increased use of electric vehicles and ensure this is supported by our traffic management and parking regulations.
Around a third of Glasgow’s households are estimated to live in fuel poverty. Fuel poverty has a damaging effect on the health, quality of life and financial sustainability of individuals, households and communities.
Efforts to increase the use of sustainable energy and reduce carbon emissions make a direct contribution towards reducing fuel poverty. An SNP City Government will work to integrate and co-ordinate work by the Council with that of our partners in housing associations and developers, third sector and community organisations, the academic sector, and business and industry to build a partnership for a Sustainable Glasgow, where the elimination of fuel poverty is one of the benefits we aim to deliver through action to grow our green economy.
Living streets, where people are as likely to walk or cycle as they are to use motorised transport, reduce carbon emissions and create a better, healthier quality of life for all Glaswegians.
The SNP will set an investment target of 10% of our transport budget on walking and cycling over the course of the next Council term. We will ensure new cycling infrastructure is of high quality and safe for all ages and abilities, looking to good practice in cities internationally for advice and inspiration, and audit the existing cycling infrastructure to assess how many kilometres of inclusive, safe cycle paths we currently have, and where upgrading is necessary.
We will improve the walking environment for everyone by maintaining pavements, and ensure safe crossings are in the places they are needed and reduce the speed limit to 20mph on all roads except major through routes.