Posted by:6 December, 2011
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson, pictured, explains how sustainability should’t just be about the environment but social justice as well, discussing their Sustainable Glasgow partnership with IBM and Warm Glasgow project, aimed at helping the over-80s with their heating bills.
I am passionate about building a greener city. But sustainability is not just about a green future, it is about social justice and leaving no one behind in Glasgow.
Sustainability should and has to deliver for all the people in my city. It is about making life better for our most vulnerable citizens and communities and providing good quality jobs for all.
That is why I am so committed to the Sustainable Glasgow partnership - it ticks all the boxes, bringing benefits for all.
Like me, all partners in Sustainable Glasgow are working to make Glasgow one of the most sustainable cities in Europe within the next 10 years. But we are also going much further that being a greener city. We are directly linking sustainable projects with social justice.
I have now pledged that income generated from new sustainable projects in our city will contribute to Warm Glasgow - our new long-term project to ensure that affordable warmth becomes a reality for all our citizens.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that fuel poverty is a harsh reality for many of Glaswegians often due to factors out of our control, but this does not mean that we should accept it.
That is why last week I announced that the Council will give a £100 affordable warmth dividend to every Glaswegian over 80-years-old who is on Pension Credit. That’s 11,000 of our most vulnerable citizens.
We are not prepared to see another winter of hardship for our elderly people, it is time to make affordable warmth a firm commitment and end a situation where the old and least well-off in our society struggle to heat their homes adequately.
The first project is the Council’s new wind turbine to be built at Cathkin Braes in the southside of Glasgow. This £2.5m investment will generate funds well into the future, paying initially for the £100 dividend.
But this is only the beginning. We have the capacity to free up more land for further wind turbine projects, but the Council has innovative plans to deal with waste management in the city in a way that could also generate income.
Our Warm Glasgow project is as a direct result of working with one of our Sustainable Glasgow partners - IBM.
A few months ago Glasgow was named as the UK’s first winner of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge due to the great work of Sustainable Glasgow. IBM experts came to our city and I asked them to help Glasgow with the issues around fuel poverty or affordable warmth and report back to the council on a way forward.
The IBM report is the basis for the Warm Glasgow affordable warmth strategy and the Sustainable Glasgow partnership is the means by which we will deliver this commitment.
By using this partnership to help focus investment towards the most vulnerable Glaswegians who are cold in their homes, Sustainable Glasgow hopes to have a real impact on improving people’s health and quality of life.
This unparalleled strategic approach taken by Glasgow will also help to create jobs and boost the economy and regenerate the city making it a more sustainable place to live, work and enjoy in tandem with tackling social issues like fuel poverty.
These are difficult economic times at the moment, but the opportunities presenting themselves are huge. Glasgow intends to grab these opportunities to become a low-carbon hub - growing our economy and prosperity and being sustainable are two sides of the same coin. Carbon is the new currency for Glasgow.
With the right partnerships and strategic direction we are on the cusp of a new and green industrial age here in Glasgow. We are absolutely determined that we enter that age well prepared, and that all of our people can benefit from it.
We are ensuring that sustainability isn’t just theory, it has to deliver for our people - making their lives better, healthier and warmer, as well as, helping to provide good quality jobs.
That’s the Sustainable Glasgow dividend - green energy, strong partnerships, benefits for all Glaswegians.
Our city motto is “Let Glasgow Flourish” but today with this new exciting green agenda for our city I say let a Sustainable Glasgow flourish!
Cllr Gordon Matheson (Lab), Leader of Glasgow City Council & chair of Sustainable Glasgow
Anyone wanting more information about Glasgow’s sustainable partnership can contact Áine Harrington 0141 287 0923 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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