In 2017 Glasgow’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2037 was already ambitious and challenging.

But events move on and climate action is now required like never before. Last month the Glasgow Climate Emergency Working Group delivered a report that included a recommendation the target for carbon neutrality be brought forward to 2030.

This recommendation will now be written into Council policy.

As a council, we have a clear leadership role and our own estate is already much more energy efficient, produces fewer carbon emissions and thereby saves us money for reinvestment in our social priorities.

We met our 2020 emissions target several years ahead of schedule thanks to a mix of retrofit measures, addressing both energy efficiency and generation.

Policies such as the investment in clean vehicles for our fleet, as announced yesterday, will allow us to drive forward on tackling emissions.

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However, other forms of sustainable transport must also be prioritised, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Through unprecedented levels of investment in cycling and walking, both through the city centre Avenues programme and wider projects connecting neighbourhoods, we are building the network that will enable healthier, zero emissions travel.

And from the Low Emission Zone to the increase in bus priority measures, we are encouraging the bus industry to run cleaner, more convenient services.

Our new transport strategy will be published next year and will have climate at its heart.

Yet a focus on transport is not enough.

How we power our homes and workplaces is central to this debate.

Thankfully, Glasgow already has some fantastic examples of innovative renewable energy projects.

The Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre is our state-of-the-art waste management facility that produces enough energy to power the equivalent of 22,000 households, heat the equivalent of some 8,000 homes and save 90,000 tonnes of CO² every year.

A programme of mounting PV solar panels on our school roofs continues to be rolled out and we intend to utilise heat-pumps with underfloor heating on four new nursery schools soon to be built.

Glasgow is also home to over eight independent active district heating schemes and we have community-based renewable energy production within the city with the Cathkin Wind Turbine along with a wealth of innovative social enterprises helping to support more resilient and low carbon communities.

And of course, transformational regeneration initiatives such as the Sighthill housing development and the Athletes’ village provide world-class exemplars for energy efficient design and sustainable development.

But we also need to be leading the climate conversation city wide. It’s essential that we engage with citizens and businesses like to discuss why climate action is now a priority, and what that might mean for all of us.

Behaviour change is always difficult, but telling the right stories can help make that happen.

We have seen a culture shift around single use plastics, and an increasing awareness of the impact of individual transport choices.

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Yet there is still work for all of us to do in capturing people’s imaginations on how we heat our buildings, and in particular our homes. We must ensure that low carbon solutions also provide affordable heat for everyone in the city.

Significant work on low carbon heat is underway already.

We were one of the first local authorities to be granted national funding to develop a new Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategy for the sector.

The key aim of the LHEES is to identify how we can improve the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings, whilst de-carbonising heat provision.

The development of Glasgow’s LHEES has been used to identify five key low carbon zones in the city, much of it suitable for district heating.

We will work with developers, property owners and local people in these areas to progress the aims of the LHEES and harness opportunities.

This will not always be easy or straightforward, but it is essential that we rise to the challenge.

Where we identify barriers we must do what we can to find solutions. To ensure that we find ourselves with a policy framework that allows existing technology to become a competitive alternative to natural gas.

This all takes time, of course, but the climate challenge which we face means that time has become a finite resource that is rapidly running out.

It is clear we need innovation in finance and governance as much as in technology. If Glasgow is to meet is ambitions for low carbon, renewable and affordable heat then we need to find the means to fund significant new levels of development and we need to find within ourselves the qualities of leadership and confidence to take our city forward.

Glasgow is a city with a strong industrial past but also with the courage to reinvent itself. We have a responsibility to lead on climate change. Population density offers us so many opportunities to decarbonise quickly, if we make the right policy decisions, and are bold enough to see them through.

With the Scottish Government’s support we can seize the opportunity to reinvent ourselves once more, as a truly sustainable, global city.