Calls have been made for Glasgow's business community to back a new set of proposed solutions to tackle climate change and shape policy making in the city.

University of Glasgow academics and Glasgow City Council joined forces on a new project to position the city as a world-leader on climate change.

To be officially unveiled at Kelvingrove Museum on Wednesday night, the Thriving Glasgow Portrait sets out a vision and call to action for policy makers and organisations on sustainability.

Glasgow has already pledged to have achieved net-zero by 2030 and this new project aims to help shape this plan, having been developed as part of Glasgow’s role in the C40 Thriving Cities Initiative, launched during the 2021 UN climate conference COP26.

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Professor Petra Meier from our Centre for Sustainable Solutions, who led on the development of the Thriving Glasgow Portrait said business support was crucial in helping the city achieve its aims.

She said: "We are now in a process of working out how we can achieve progress towards [the Portrait's goals] in a holistic way where our actions trying to do one thing don't scupper our chances of achieving the other.

"In terms of the city, it has adopted the Thriving Glasgow Portrait formally so I hope it will be used as a guiding framework that can be turned into targets and ambitions and maybe form part of impact assessments, embedded in actual council practice and business practice.

"Nothing will work unless the business sector gets behind this so we're hoping at the launch event we'll have strong representation from the commercial sector and people who want to think about how they can align their own business practice with this new understanding of where Glasgow wants to go."

Focus groups were held with more than 130 policymakers, businesses, charities, scientists and local people from across the city to uncover priorities and ideas for achieving climate justice.

During the 18-month engagement process, 44 social and environmental definitions were developed that consider how to balance the needs of the planet with the wellbeing of people in Glasgow and globally.

It uses methods inspired by the Doughnut Economics framework developed by economist Kate Raworth.

Examples of the definitions that people from across the city have collaboratively created include:

• Glasgow gets all its energy from renewable sources that everyone can afford

• All Glasgow residents breathe healthy, unpolluted air within safe guidelines

• Sustainable farming practices across global supply chains provide food to people across Glasgow with minimal use of fertilisers.

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Prof Meier added: "I was most surprised at how much agreement there was between people, whether we were talking to city officials or politicians or our charities or our communities.

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"I think a lot of the things we heard kept coming up again and again across the different audiences.

"There's much more of a shared understanding in Glasgow than other places."

The Thriving Glasgow Portrait plan sets out four questions that need to be considered to help the city achieve its 44 definitions: What would it mean for the people of Glasgow to thrive? What would it mean for Glasgow to thrive within its natural habitat? What would it mean for Glasgow to respect the wellbeing of people worldwide? What would it mean for Glasgow to respect the health of the whole planet?

By working together to consider how we can find solutions that address multiple targets without undermining efforts to find solutions to others, the Portrait can guide policies, plans and strategies across all sectors to make Glasgow a world-leading sustainable city.

Professor Jaime Toney is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Solutions and principal investigator of GALLANT, an ongoing research project which is using Glasgow as a ‘living lab’ to find fair and just solutions to the climate crisis.

She added: “We adapted the methodology piloted by the Doughnut Economics Action Lab and C40 Cities to develop the Thriving Glasgow Portrait and find new ways for the city to settle in the ‘safe and just space’, where human and ecological wellbeing can be nurtured together.

“The Portrait as a whole represents the kind of whole-system transformation that we know is necessary to target the scale and urgency of the interlinked ecological and social challenges we face both as a city and as a planet.”

The Thriving Glasgow Portrait has been formally adopted by Glasgow City Council and will, the council said, be used to inform future policies, plans and strategies in the years to come.

The Kelvingrove Museum launch event for the Thriving Glasgow Portrait will include a panel discussion on the city’s transition to a sustainable and just future.

Leader of Glasgow City Council Susan Aitken, said: “Glasgow is a city increasingly recognised by the world as a leader for climate action and ambition; where the legacies of a heavy industrial, high carbon past drive our commitment to a socially just and ecologically safe city.

“The Thriving Cities Initiative is a guide to Glasgow’s social and economic transformation and how that can – and must – sit within planetary boundaries.

“By bringing together the social and ecological, the local and the global, this Portrait will also help us to monitor Glasgow’s progress on our journey towards being a truly thriving place, and to work with our communities and across all sectors to secure that.”

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is a global network of nearly 100 cities that are united in action to confront the climate crisis. It represents one twelfth of the world's population and one quarter of the global economy. Glasgow is participating in the Thriving Cities Initiative, which supports cities in downscaling doughnut economics by identifying avenues to address inequities in urban consumption.

Aida Mas Baghaie, Senior Manager of the C40 Thriving Cities Initiative, said: "The Thriving Glasgow Portrait sets a strong vision for Glasgow to support wellbeing for all people within planetary boundaries. This is no small feat, as this ambitious goal will require active and ongoing participation on behalf of Glaswegians of all walks of life, including residents, community organisers, policy makers, elected officials and businesspeople.

“Through the Thriving Cities Initiative, C40 Cities will support Glasgow City Council in moving from ambition to action by convening changemakers to build a robust and inclusive approach for Glasgow to tackle the most pressing social and ecological challenges of our time.”