The text below is the transcript from the Raising Ambition - A Tale of Two Regions video.
Raising Ambition - A Tale of Two Regions
Hello everybody, good afternoon and thanks ever so much for joining us today for what is the third in our series of connect with climate change events, a programme of talks put on in partnership between ScottishPower, Strathclyde University and Glasgow University. I’m really pleased that you’ve been able to join us today.
The previous events if you weren’t able to join are all available on the connect with climate change web site and do go there and this is where this event will be hosted in the future as well.
So, welcome to this event “Raising Ambition a Tale of Two Regions” we’ve got a fantastic agenda for you with great speakers, great panellists but importantly I’m sure a great audience who will engage and share their questions and their thoughts, so please do throughout this use Slido and rank the questions as you see them come in and we’ll make sure we really do our best to get to all of those.
I want to start by bringing up a poll actually, to try and prompt some engagement and get you thinking about the topic for today’s discussion which is all around the challenge of place based climate action how does the high ambition of our local governments in Scotland and across the rest of the UK get translated into action one of the enabling factors that we need to see in order to support that accelerated response, what support is needed and what are the big barriers that they face in realising ambitions of net zero quite often by 2030 or 2035.
So, if it’s possible I’ll bring up the Slido poll, it should appear on your screens shortly. So, if you could go to Slido.com and the hashtag is CWCC: which of these areas do you think is most important in supporting accelerated response to the climate emergency in our communities and just rank these in order of 1 – 6 and that will give us some interesting raw material for when we come to our Q&A at the end or at least after the panel discussion. So, that poll will stay open, and you can move between the poll and the Q&A function in Slido to ask your questions. I post these different categories because they’re, I mean it’s incredibly difficult to distinguish between the importance of these because for different challenges, they all have particular relevance, but it will be interesting to see where the audience feels the kind of emphasis lies.
I should actually introduce myself, my names Dr Sam Gardner I’m the head of climate change and sustainability with ScottishPower and I’m also the chair of the Edinburgh climate commission and very engaged with and interested in how we support local communities, local government and stakeholders to deliver a place-based response to climate change that’s fit for the people and the communities that live in a particular area and deliver a just transition. So, really interested in what we’re going to hear from our speakers and the response from all of you.
I’m just going to run through our speakers and then when I come to them individually I’ll introduce them but in the first instance we’re going to hear from Gavin Slater, who is head of sustainability at Glasgow council We’ll then hear form Neil Kermode, who’s managing director at EMEC on Orkney really interesting contrast between two different geographies two different places both going about trying to tackle climate change in ways that are fit for their communities and their environments and then we’ll have responses from our three panellists Dr Jen Roberts, Chancellors Fellow and Energy from the University of Glasgow, Professor Ken Gibb, Professor of housing economics at the University of Glasgow and Ellie Harrison chair of Glasgow’s community energy. So that’s the running order and without further ado I’m going to pass over to Gavin who will be our first speaker, Gavin will speak for about 10 minutes and then I will introduce Neil after that, so thanks ever so much everybody thanks for joining and over to you Gavin.
Thank you very much. Good afternoon everybody as Sam said I’m going to take you through a very quick run of what we’ve done in Glasgow in terms of our achievements up to 2020 now our plan is to be net zero carbon by 2030.
So if I could just have the slides on the screen there, looking at where we started as a city in 2006, we began to look at climate change very seriously and explore what we needed to do and in 2010 we set up the “Sustainable Glasgow” partnership and with that came the sustainable Glasgow report which was at the time a very high level aspirational document and it set a target of reducing CO2 emissions by 30% within that there was 33 actions set out, at the time it was predicted to cost us in the region of 1.4 billion I think to achieve those.
As we progressed we got involved in different projects one being the “EU FP7 SETUP project” which took the sustainable Glasgow report and basically updated it from being an aspirational document to a much more technical document done in partnership with ScottishPower and the University of Strathclyde that really pioneered heat mapping long before the Scottish government took that on as a way to understand energy consumption in cities but it retained those actions and it retained the same target.
So how did we do? As of 2018 which was our last data set because its reported two years in arrears, we had actually achieved a 37.5% reduction in CO2 so well ahead of target we reached 30% in 2015. Looking at that on a sectoral basis a lot of that reduction is in electricity, that’s due to local efforts and national efforts in terms of the decarbonisation of electricity but what this shows is there is still a real issue with heat and transport in the city and is something that we need to address.
How did we do that? We did that in several different ways we have wind turbines. Okay so, Glasgow only has one it’s a bit of a challenge having wind turbines in an urban environment but we’re still proud of our one big turbine sitting up there in the Cathkin braes. We have covered our schools in solar panels, we have seen solar panels over a huge number of houses owned by housing associations in the city as well we actually won awards back in 2014 for having the most coverage of any city in Scotland. We’ve worked with community projects like Ellies Glasgow Community Energy in putting solar panels on schools and looking at how that benefits the community with the money that’s generated from that, so the community group or Glasgow Community Energy basically sell us the power and use that money to enhance the local community.
We have built a £154 million Glasgow recycling and renewable energy centre which if you have the artist believe is one of the most romantic places in Glasgow to go for a walk but it’s also a massive, massive contributor to renewable energy in the city taking 90% of our waste away from land fill and turning it into electricity. There’s also a potential for heat recovery from that plant as well one which we are yet to exploit properly.
We built the commonwealth games athletes village covered in solar as you can see but also one of the first major district heating networks that’s in the city gas CHP at the time we’re now moving very much away from thinking about gas CHP but it’s still a real landmark development working with three housing associations and providing heat and power to local schools as well as the Emirates Arena and the indoor velodrome.
We’ve worked with our universities that chimney that you see there is from Glasgow university that was a district heating system made to look like a ship reminiscent to those in the Clyde and we’ve even looked at more advanced district heating schemes like this air sourced heat pump scheme in the south of the city. We’ve also taken on some transport measures; we’ve seen cycling in the city since the Commonwealth games rise dramatically not only thanks to the …bikes but also thanks to the infrastructure that we’ve put in place. Electric vehicles are on the rise as well so a significant number of vehicle chargers in the city somewhere near 300 both on and off street. We had a policy initially of parking and charging being free and we’re starting to see the numbers of owners of electric vehicles or car club electric vehicles being used in the city grow as well.
And then lastly but not least, through the pandemic we’ve accelerated our pillars and worked on spaces for people which has seen significant parts of the city handed over for walking, wheeling and cycling which is creating a much nicer place to be in the city but also helping deal with some of those transport issues.
We’ve also worked on projects like the future city Glasgow which took a very techno approach to dealing with the climate. We did various different things in relation to energy we deployed sensors when we were doing insulation retrofits so that we could actually test the change in environmental conditions within houses not just in terms of heat retention but in terms of moisture build-up and other factors that maybe weren’t considered at first when thinking about insulation. We mapped every bit of vacant and derelict land in the city for at the time, just solar deployment looking at all the planning policy and technical constraints but since then have taken that on to look at various other different renewables as well.
We’ve worked on demand side management putting different bits of kit in our buildings allowing us to be dynamically responsive to power needs and power demands and also power availability and we’ve also developed a web portal as well which was designed to help people understand their own consumption and maybe give them a bit more information on how they could at a domestic level improve the performance of their own properties.
In addition to that we’ve also been running the “EU Ruggedised” project and again with partners ScottishPower and others University of Strathclyde again across the city looking to work with other cities in Europe in this case Rotterdam, Umea, Brno. Parma and Gdansk to develop smart districts in cities. So, in Glasgow that involves the development of district heating looking at not just the infrastructure side but actually what’s more difficult I think in cities is the actual contractual side so how do you actually start contractually start selling and buying heat from non-energy providers something that we as a city or a nation are not completely comfortable with.
We’ve also looked at installing solar canopies on the roofs of car parks connected to battery storage and electric vehicle charging. Those battery stores are also connected to domestic properties to look at storing renewable energy when its available and making that available to both car charging and parasitic load on buildings but also domestic customers as well who maybe don’t have access to roof space to have their own solar on.
So to get to net zero by 2030 after all that good work we declared a state of climate and ecological emergency we brought in a cross political party and lots of external advisors pressure groups, lobbyists, experts to give us recommendation and they gave us 60 of those at the core of that was sustainability and social justice so that remains absolutely the core of everything that we do and those recommendations were then transferred from the work of the working group, into our climate plan and at the core of that is delivery of net zero carbon by 2030.
We also relaunched the sustainable Glasgow partnership in 2020 and set out four new thematic hubs to try and concentrate the work of the parentship on heating and housing, green infrastructure and transport, greening the city and rewilding and the green economy and the private sector and currently those hubs are meeting every single month as well as the board, so we’re putting hours and hours of work into that and beginning to reap the rewards of that effort.
We have a number of plans and policies that underpin all of the work that we’re doing in terms of our climate plan and net zero I won’t read them all out to you but there is the circular economy route map or the biodiversity action plan, our transport strategy, our open space strategy so many there which the climate plan refers to where a bulk of the works been done. We also have our local heat and energy efficiency strategy which is a much more technical document which brings together energy planning and housing strategy.
And that all sits within a context of national and local government agenda as well and policies and all the rest of it which sets the framework for how we’re trying to achieve this net zero ambitions.
Very quickly just going onto our climate plan, our climate plan was launched just a couple of weeks ago through committee and that within there has broken down a number of actions across themes, you can see in the centre there the five themes the grey circle around those themes should be complete not segmented that’s been amended in the plan but this takes the UN sustainable development goals and attaches them to each of the thematic workstreams that we have in the plan and we’re using those SUGs as a sort of common language across all of our plans and policies to try and help people connect the dots as it were.
I’m trying to get onto the next slide but it’s not moving don’t know if I need a little help there but, there we go the plan has set out actions and milestones again we don’t have time today to go through all of those but I encourage you to go and look at it and look at what we plan to do year-on-year as we travel towards that 2030 target and ultimately the main things we’ve planned to do to reach that net zero target are:
The delivery of our technical feasibility study for net zero, delivery of the climate plan and the actions within most importantly I think or one of the most important things is the delivery of a green new deal for Glasgow we understand that this is likely to cost somewhere in the region of 4 billion and 29 billion to make that transition at a city level, so we need massive investment and we’re about to launch a prospectus an investment prospectus for the city to look at different ways that we can bring that finance into the city. We’re working on a massive investment in retrofit as well, as well as continuing to develop the networks that we have.
Finally, just to make you aware we’ve launched the new sustainable Glasgow website there is a lot of stuff in there about the circular economy the various different projects we have our case studies what we’re working on or what we plan to work on. The papers that go to the sustainable Glasgow board are available there as well as our sustainable Glasgow charter which we have just launched as a way to try and engage businesses across the city in this journey to net zero both large and small collating all of the plans, projects strategies that businesses have to reach net zero as well as working with those SMEs that want to be part of that journey but don’t yet have the resource to build those plans.
So hopefully this gives some oversight into the journey that we’ve been on, the journey that we continue to travel on and our aspirations to reach net zero by 2030 thanks very much.
Thanks ever so much cabin for rattle through a huge amount of work both planned and in the past in the immediate past and I'm sure that's given a lot of kind of thoughtful questions. So please do go to slido, pose your questions try and understand a bit more about what's going on in Glasgow and if you come out of full screen you can see slido there or just go to the slido website on your phone or somewhere else and post your questions there, so please do that. Now really pleased to be able to hand over to Neil whose the director EMEC Orkney beautiful islands that are very fond memories, have been there an actually having a visit to EMEC many, many years ago but I'm sure will be really interesting presentation and a contrast to what we've just heard from Gavin which is the aim, so thanks ever so much Neil and over to you.
Thanks very much indeed and thanks to ScottishPower for the opportunity to talk to you today yes Neil Kermode, managing director at EMEC, based in Stromness in Orkney. I've got a few slides really to try and show what happened on the journey that's gone on in Orkney as a whole and if one thinks of what Orkney is many people think of it if you even know where it is but most people do now, think of it really in terms of the landscape and the architecture and the archaeology and the stunning views. The people don't generally tend to think of it for the innovation that's going on in terms of the top right-hand corner that was the world's most powerful tidal turbine is now being replaced by another one. On the right is some low energy housing with integral solar and they've now got to battery storage in them you know top left of the fleet of vessels which are installing marine energy devices on the site that I manage and then bottom left is our electrolyser which was the first one that we'd put in that actually made hydrogen from tidal energy for the first time anywhere.
So this is a place where innovation is actually happening to make it absolutely contemporary in real for you right now, we've got various things that are on the go and the top to slideshow the tidal turbine, the O2 Turbine from orbital launched in Dundee first vessel manufactured in Dundee in 40 years, at that shipyard on its way to do up to the site on ED where it’s being installed. That will generate around two megawatts of energy. In addition to that we've also got megalanis a Spanish company with their tidal turbine up there and more recently on our wave test site we've been joined by motion with their small scale 100 kW wave energy machine.
so, there's a lot of actual innovation going on here and the question is how have how is this contributing towards climate change or the mitigation to climate change and really it's part of an ecosystem that operates in Orkney we are one entity and we've been very grateful to be able to be formed in Orkney because it's a community which seems to behave rather differently too innovation.
The community really is built based around three distinct parts there's the business, the public sector and then the third sector and in as in most communities these work individually but also interact and work together in certain ways.
But over 20 years ago there was a great vision and foresight shown about the whole issue about renewables and energy efficiency which gave rise to the creation of a thing called Oref which is the Orkney Renewable Energy forum and that's met he now meet every month and it's an opportunity to exchange ideas very much across those three sectors and out of that some schemes have come I'll talk about in the second but also we are not the only one because there are other organisations which are working across the other sectors like arts crafts agriculture tourism etc and those groups themselves also meet and it gives us this from energy point of view good chance to interact with some of those other, other forum.
Now one of the things that came out of Oref was a gathering together at the time when the industrial strategy was launched which effectively is looking for projects which would seek to pilot decarbonization and from the fact that we'd worked together for the best way to 20 years a number of organisations came together and formed a thing called the reflex project and that's part funded by UK research and innovation and the reflex project is seeking to decarbonise transport, heats and put storage into the electrical network there in time to talk through the whole reflex project but I can give more details about their later if people are interested but the project itself has looked at a number of ways in which we're trying to decarbonise the energy system one of them, I’m going to talk to you about a couple of outputs distinctly from it.
One of which was that one of the members Solo SMS looked at the UK electricity system as it stood at the time and that shows really back in August 2019 the amount of generation it was going on from renewables and the electricity demand of the network you look at the green line at the bottom the spikes on it are principally solar and the waveform in it is principally wind and so that was what we were seeing back in 2019 and they thought well what happens if you simply quadruple them out of renewables that are going to be on the network and if you simply quadruple that green that number in that green line you end up with that shape this is what we've actually got in opening today.
So, the point is that we have already got a network which is going to remind us of how a more intensively renewable up network is going to work and there are several things to note here one is that the blue line is the electricity demand and the red is that supply and there are periods when the blue is above the red i.e. we don't have enough electricity to make it all work but it's also periods of sufficient of extensive surfeits of renewable electricity and so handling these deficits and surface and the intermittency aspects is a key part of the energy system and we've been working really hard to that which has led us towards hydrogen trying to talk about towards the right at the end.
The other thing we also did from the reflex project very early doors was refresh something that we had done that some time ago by another of the partners Aquatera and they had done an energy audit back in 2013/14. I think it was and we refresh that in 2019 and that energy audit shows a number of interesting things the left hand side and this may actually have not transferred as well as I'd hoped I might over compressed it when I sent the file so forgive me but I can make the information available if people are interested.
But basically left hand side is showing where we using the energy, the column in underneath the 2019 are the fuels that we're using from the top that's LPG the broader one at the top is kerosene, the next broad purpley one is electricity between those peat and coal and then we go into row diesel and gas oil and down the bottom end is gas or for, for marine uses and the point is that we the audit showed which fuels were using and it also showed what we're using them for and what it discloses is, yes, we're using a lot for heat and light but actually transport is really big for us and in fact if you look at the darkish blue bit towards the bottom which is principally shipping that is about as big as we use in our domestic situations. So, for us shipping is a significant energy use and therefore a significant carbon dioxide producer, so we've recognised that something we really need to tackle.
The other thing we've also been looking at is because of grid in adequacies historical reasons more than more than anything although some regulatory bits don't help. We've ended up trying to use as much energy as we possibly can because on occasions you from previous graph when the red is above the blue we do actually create more electricity than we need so can we need more can we displace things because at the moment what we've succeeded in doing is effectively decarbonising that bit the electricity bit but all the rest of that column is still based on fossil fuels, so can we start to displace fuels in other ways and we've really focused on a couple of things one of which is our electric vehicles.
I want to talk to you about that because the community we've been logging information about electric vehicles since they first appeared in Orkney in about 20 2012, 2013, something like that and that's been done as a community based activity where people have contributed their data every month sharing the mileages of what they are actually doing in their electric vehicles and this build up knowledge about how EVs actually work.
So this is a graph showing the numbers of EVs we now just over 300 EVs, but we also know the average distances the EVs travel which interesting is more than the Scottish average for vehicles that the distances that vehicles travel we know how those mileages change on a month by month basis over years and the answer is they don't so that's helpful to understand and we've also understood was the result of introducing charges for charging i.e. we started to charge people for charging the electric vehicles in public that green blocks on those on those diagrams are actually the number of charges that are undertaken and the orange in the blue were when the charging was free so we see very clearly that charging for charging hasn't effected and it caught something like a 70% reduction in charging activity in the public domain but we know those cars are still being used so they've been charged at home.
So, we understand pieces about it, so these are critically important factors, and we think this this socialised knowledge or citizen science knowledge is actually really helpful to help drive behavioural change.
The last thing I really want to talk about it very much is, is what we've been doing with hydrogen and we've been trying to we've been producing hydrogen from tidal energy and also from wind to work with the community turbine and we therefore got experience in the production of hydrogen understanding how to store and transport it we also understand something other value of hydrogen and the that graph basically shows that on the right hand side if we use hydrogen and made electricity with it is worth about 30 pence a kilogramme but if we use it as a propulsion fuel it's worth about £4.50 a kilogram.
So that's helping us better understand what we should do with the assets that we do have and at the bottom right hand corner is weird been working with a company called Zero Avia in a couple of projects with them about putting hydrogen into an aircraft which had been converted to run on fuel cells we're also working with ferries and we are also working with cars so there's a huge amount actually going on.
The last point I really wanted to make is that the talk about the impact of all this work that that we've done and principally what we've been doing is seeing is we've really much been learning by doing so the practical demonstration and testing of equipment to make sure that it works, and it works as well as the manufacturers both intend and promise.
We also have effectively been creating what we call pre commercial knowledge because this is not these are not businesses these are still invention and RnD space but we're understanding how businesses can be created and in addition to that this practical demonstration really is leading us towards making actual progress and at the moment we are making progress towards net zero on land, sea and air.
So, we're trying everything we can in our individual way and be really interested in what other people are, are doing and bought people think of this so thank you for watching if you’re on this afternoon.
Thank you ever so much Neil for that rattle through all that is going on in Orkney. Fascinating as a test bed for all sorts of new technologies but also how those technologies are being adopted by communities and what you're learning in the process so I'm sure hopefully that's prompted fresh questions from the audience please do go to Slido and post them and vote for the ones that you think are particularly interesting and engaging.
So now we're just going turn to our panel who in turn are going to offer some reflections on what they've heard from the two speakers and then also a little contribution from their own expertise and perspective on this challenge of how do we deliver an accelerated response to climate change that's fit for the places that people and communities living work in.
So first of all, I'm going to reintroduce Jen Roberts who I attributed to the completely the wrong university there's only two I need to talk about but very pleased to introduce Doctor Jen Roberts who is the chancellor's Fellow in energy at the university of Strathclyde, Jen over to you for some reflections.
Great thanks Sam and also thanks to Gavin and Neil for your perspective there are very positive and I think sometimes when I join panels at this time when I talk about the kind of technocratic technical stuff but today I'm not going to do that I'd like to build on some of what you shared an pick up from 3 aspects I think are particularly important to recognise when discussing local climate action in cities and rural communities and which space Gavin and Neil kind of touched on lightly but I guess I'd like to bring out a little bit more.
So the first is that word communities, people and place communities need to be at the heart of necessary transitions for several reasons and not least because this transition affects them how people living work including the jobs that people do and how they live their lives but and therefore we need to make sure that these transitions do not widen social inequalities but also because there's an incredible potential to leverage changes that must be made to bring a range of co benefits to before so that the future on offer this sustainable future that we need and that we in this room that we want but that future offers a kind of better future than what we currently have.
So, whether we are talking about rural or urban communities here we need to adopt community orientated, or community led place based participatory approaches to develop transparent decisions integrated solutions enable this kind of full suite of benefits to be recognised captured enhanced and also ideally these benefits to be reduced or designed out.
Now I realise this can sometimes sound a little bit kind of motherhood and apple pie but there's a great deal of evidence that these participatory approaches not only enabled projects assistance transitions that meets a range of statement needs they also natural sense of community, a place agency, you know self-efficacy and support trust and tolerance for the decisions and changes being implemented all that the communities themselves are driving and so they can't build community resilience and so quiet to bring that out and give it a bit more especially since sometimes the communities trying to drive climate action can face any barriers I’m sure Alli will share more on that so there’s challenges like community initiatives.
So that is one thing I wanted to pick up and there are two other words I wanted to kind of bring out its one was placed based and the other was integrated so there’s no single route to net zero, no one size fits all and you know we know that we know this may complicate things and really helps things because many aspects of transitions to net zero carbon must be tailored to place context an community and these place based approaches to sustainable development. They aim to breaking of wider social economic environmental goals three collaboration and shared outcome which today we talk about these outcomes would be actions towards net zero whatever those actions are.
In Scotland with we’re actually incredibly really good position because the value of place based approaches to development is translated into national policy through things like the place principle made by Scottish Government and initiatives like the place standard which provides up framework to structure conversations around a place with community the community ecosystem and I think Neil used that word community ecosystem and so enabling multiple actors to collaborate plan for and kind of measure the sustainability impacts which is really exciting and enabling but currently there is some confusion about what this really means in practise there is a lack of understanding of what place based can mean, there’s misuse of the term there is lack of knowledge or experience of training on the methods and approaches for placemaking I kind of particularly bottom up approaches for development.
So, I think we need to do a bit better there's a huge role for sharing and exchanging approaches and experience and best practise so we can collectively improve on this, and I really can support Neil’s bid for sharing, learning by doing whether that's technical or in these community embedded approaches.
So I’m aware I was meant to be quite quick, I guess my final reflection contribution would be the important is integrated approach, I know Gavin you really brought this in your presentation too and I think there is a real opportunity for much more integration and to use a very politicised phrase and joined up thinking I don't want to quote too much but yeah the communities are very adept at identifying boots to join things up and there are multiple ways in which you can come frame integration.
I'm not going to get list them off now but I think you know the way that we are set up currently institutionally and societaly and so on this makes it quite challenging I be really interested from Gavin and Neil about you highlight supporting integration across sectors and silos in your experience is there to support integrated and sustainable net zero transition pathways so that's my tuppence, really on community place based and integrated solutions for local climate action and a lot of knowledge and experience sharing to support doing this in practise and I'll stop there and hand over.
Thank you ever so much Jen really clear kind of insights and a little bit of challenge or question there as well which will turn to particularly integration piece which something I'm very conscious of in Edinburgh there's so much happening so much going on so much bottom up activity and so much well intentioned top down activity an finding that which is partly why in that poll I put the point about coordination and how do you how do you bring that together and really make sure that all the activity is greater than the sum of its parts.
So, we will no doubt return to that but now I'm very pleased to introduce Professor Ken Gibb who is Professor of housing economics at the University of Glasgow so over to Ken for your reflections on what you've heard this afternoon.
Thanks Sam and very nice to be here too. So, I direct something called the UK collaborative centre for housing evidence and it's a consortium across, across the UK and we are involved in a small portfolio of climate change in housing related research projects, and I wanted to just talk briefly about one of those because I think it speaks to a number of the issues I wanted to raise.
This project is our retrofit tenement demonstration project were evaluating it's a property in the Southside of Glasgow owned by housing association has eight one-bedroom flats in it and we're trying to understand learn lessons really for the broader retrofit of the more than 75,000 traditional tenements in Glasgow which are by definition more than 100 years old.
So, the study involves trying to understand the process of doing the construction work. Building performance kind of assessment which involves more sensors into walls and things of that can't understand heat and moisture and environmental effects, we're doing a cost benefit analysis and we're doing a kind of assessment of the key decision-making process is that although went on during it. So, I'm very interested really, I guess what's being said about how we think that the environmental policies that we want to pursue in Glasgow for instance can be consistent with the needs of this specific problem of this huge iconic part of the housing system in the in the city. How can we find ways to join up all the bits and pieces and integrate solutions which allow us to retain the tenements because if we don't find them, we're going to lose quite a lot of it I suspect?
So, it’s in that kind of context I want to just reflect on a couple of things. One of the things that's really striking about the tenemental problem and I think is it is also true of many of the issues were talking about today is this notion that we're actually dealing with a multi layered complex system with add adaptive learning that takes place overtime one of the things that struck us quite early on is that there are necessary conditions to make tenemental retrofit work in a large scale and that's actually the tenement law reform with multiple ownership of tenements etc a whole set of problems of common appears there needs to be fundamental legal reform to actually engage with the 10s of thousands of individual actors who are homeowners or private landlords to actually deal with the thing in a comprehensive basis and I think that sense of complexity is something that that reoccurs all of the time.
The second theme I wanted to raise just briefly is the this retrofit programme in the Glasgow City region the broader city region is a huge opportunity that the city regions grasping to try to help regrow the economy post COVID and it’s a major strand and actually Gavin and I were in a meeting about scoping assessment this morning about how this work might be undertaken by the city region it's a really transformative thing that is being envisaged.
So really understanding in the city regions context the 420,000 units that need to be retrofitted to get to EPC level C it quite boggles the mind actually just thinking about the scale and size of what's undertaking under very complexity of what's involved so I think that's a good place to stop just by actually raising those two very substantial points, so thanks very much.
Thank, thank you ever so much Ken more real food for thought and as if I've already made the point please do engage and, and participate publish your questions on those I mean the chant the retrofit challenges is a long standing one but one that we're going to have to grapple with picking up on other points being made earlier how do we do that I'm not just posing this question for us to reflect on now but how do we do that and move at the pace and do learning whilst we're doing often having to kind of move forward with imperfect knowledge about the interventions whilst operating in in the real world with people’s homes and households and communities and that's where the mandate for interventions and mandate for support is going to be so important.
So final panellist but by no means least I'm very pleased to introduce Ellie Harrison who's going to speak and introduce her perspective and she is chair of Glasgow Community Energy so thanks ever so much Ellie for joining us today and I'll hand over to you.
Thank you very much Sam thanks for inviting me to speak today and thanks to Gavin for the shout out for Glasgow Community Energy. So, I'm actually an artist and an activist will be living in Glasgow since 2008 and I volunteer with several local projects and campaigns that aims at making Glasgow a more equal more sustainable and more connected city.
So that includes the get Glasgow moving public transport campaign so we want to see a world class fully integrated and affordable public transport network for our region and also with Glasgow Community Energy so Glasgow community energy is Glasgow’s new community owned renewable energy cooperative a project, that I've helped to set up over the last few years and last summer we found an agreement with Glasgow City Council which allowed us to install solar panels on, on the roofs of, of two schools one in Easterhouse and one in Pollok shields and we have just run our first successful community share offer which closed on the 18th of June, which offered local people and community organisations the opportunity to invest in the project and to become members of the cooperative.
So, I guess it brings me onto the key topic that I'm interested in raising today and that's the one of ownership which is perhaps the elephant in the room in an event that's sponsored by ScottishPower which as I'm sure a lot of you aware is actually owned by Spanish multinational company called Iberdrola.
Because if we want to deliver a just transition to a low carbon economy we must increase community ownership of the solution so that local people benefit directly and we also need business models whether that's local public ownership of energy infrastructure like they're doing in cities in Germany, Hamburg and Munich where they have taken back public ownership of, of the energy grids or whether its cooperative models like Glasgow Community Energy.
We need business models that are driven by values principles and social objectives and not just by maximising financial return because we're lagging behind many of our European neighbours, Denmark and Germany really good examples because we went down that path of privatisation and marketisation in the 80s and 90s. Which has prioritised short term gains for shareholders over long-term strategic planning to decarbonise our energy and our transport sector.
So, really interested looking at the results from the Slido so far, because it looks like national government policy regulatory frameworks is still coming out on top at certainly what I voted for. What I would like to in Scotland the policies that are similar to those introduced in Denmark in the 1980s, which really put an emphasis on localised forms of collective ownership.
So, Denmark has what is known as a residency criteria law which means that nobody can own a stake in a renewable energy generation project unless they actually live within the municipality that it serves. So, if we were to do something similar like that in Scotland in the UK then it would mean that all of the wealth generated from a place like Whitelee windfarm which we can you know see from the city centre over 200 wind turbines just sitting there all of that wealth could be reinvested back into Glasgow to accelerate the just transition and to improve the quality of all of our citizens lives.
Okay thanks ever so much Ellie for that challenge. We now have the opportunity to turn to the questions that have been posed by our audience of which there are quite a few but in the first instance I wondered if it's possible bring up the poll results I'm talking to the studio team managing the screen just I'll talk while there, there we go…if anything what's interesting here is the even spread across all of these if you put planning to one side which seems to have come down but there’s a rather yeah it's very hard to kind of separate out the top three in particular of course I think there is a kind of cycle between these where no one can exist without the other.
I just wanted to particularly pick up on number 2 which is around public engagement support which follows up on some of the points were made earlier particularly by Jen and just reflect on the fact that we've just seen the citizen assembly report be published in Scotland we've seen UK citizen assembly report be have warmly welcomed and reinforced I think in the report that the committee on climate change was produced last week in some of its conclusions and in particular kind of pose this question in the first instance to Gavin, to Ellie and anyone else who wants to come in as to. How do we, what value what importance do you place on the things like citizen's assemblies and how do we enable them and more systemically within our decision-making if indeed you think they have a role to play? So, I’ll go to Gavin and then Ellie or Jane or anybody else that wants to come in if you can just no doubt I'll try and bring you in.
Yeah, thanks very much I genuinely believe that citizens participation and co creation and decision making is absolutely crucial and if you're going to be successful in this. There’s no way anyone organisation or institution can do what we could be done alone I said in my presentation that just transition was core to what we want to achieve in Glasgow and that's absolutely true and it should be evident in what we're doing.
That being said, I completely put my hands up and see we could be doing it a lot better than we have been inspired by cities across the world in networks with who have much, much better approaches to participation and a lot of our Swedish and Scandinavian friends the way that citizens interact there with the open sharing of data the way that they are appreciative of the chance of failure and the risk inherent in big change is something that we don't have in the UK.
We’re asked to be innovative with us to make transformation changes but often crucified as it doesn't go right first time there's a lot of work to be done I think on all sides to improve in that in the UK but really after I'm part of launching things like the sustainable Glasgow website is to try and make it more transparent about people doing trying easier to be reachable. We are having a citizen’s assembly we did do a lot of consultation on the climate plan as best we could under a pandemic, and we are trying to make sure that those participating budgeting as well we are making a lot of these efforts but it's something that we need to be better at. But ultimately, I completely support that approach completely support engaging with the public all levels in all ages It’s something we've tried to do for a long time and ultimately need to get better at so that's my position.
Thank you, Gavin. Jen is this something you'd like to come back on and then in particular I'm interested in how we marry the need for greater levels of public engagement strengthening and reinforcing the public mandate for action but also the need for an accelerated response.
We know we need to be going about 30 times faster in some states on the areas of our decarbonisation agenda and if we hit targets such as those at Glasgow or Edinburgh have said so how do we how do we wed that accelerated the urgency to the climate crisis with the need for deliberation and greater public participation.
Yeah I think it this is a really interesting discussion point and we're seeing this thing can have raised almost as if climate action can't happen in a democratic way you know, and there’s an increasing amounts of like miss perspectives and experience being shared that actually these democratic process is participating processes where you have to liberation not simply consultation on an individual proposal, but you know deliberation over a series of, of change mechanisms. That that ultimately leads to better more whole systems. Solutions are fairer and can actually accelerate progress and I think just kind of linking in to certain things that Gavin said there is set scene this is the kind of an ongoing conversation that this is a process and that needs to flex and evolve and the public are very good at handling complexity and long term thinking, but we need to use the right tools to engage those conversations and there's a slight difference between say the climate assemblies which guide nationwide conversation with the climate assemblies that might be kind of city orientated or participated budgeting that might be other kind of a smaller level and those that, I'm not saying that there's one that's better than the other but they all serve different purposes and have their place and we need all these tools.
I think it is really interesting and very encouraging and also slightly concerning the importance of the role of public engagement and being recognised now in things like the climate change committee reports. The reason I say this I concern is because I think we knew that, 10 years ago, but it's only now that it's being written it's kind of the main points if the policy reports coming out but I guess also there's a difference in public engagement and then actually public involvement and the things I was talking about this public involvement public engagement can sometimes be as simply canvassing views rather than engaging in these kind of longer term thinking deliberation conversations so that you have a resilient community an, an connected stakeholders that are working together with that that shared, shared vision.
Thank you Jane I mean you're absolutely right we have known this for some time and it's some ways it's frustrating it's taken so long to come to the fore and reminded of Einstein's ladder of participation which one of you two will be familiar with which is actually about the importance of making sure we have two way dialogue which does build resilience which actually engages with I hate the phrase but they knowledges or public knowledge is an gives it equal value and I think that's, that's a real challenge but it's one that we're going to have to grapple with if we're going to have the interventions we see any is there anything you wanted to bring in on this with regards to engaging community groups that kind of the capacity of local government or others to kind of engage properly with grassroots movements, to kind of accelerate the response to climate change.
Yeah, I think what I was thinking about was the Scottish Government's climate assembly which I actually contributed to in terms of the public transport campaign. I think as a campaigner what I find particularly frustrating is actually the relentlessness of the consultations and the fact that the, the things that were saying in the consultations don't seem to be actors acted on.
So, I know that the report from the climate assembly is now sitting with the Scottish Government and they have six months to respond to it and to decide what they're going to take forward and let's just hope that they do take forward the recommendations because there's absolutely no point in having these consultations if the things that communities decide on the best way forward, aren't actually acted on and I think that if you can get that combination right of doing a very thorough democratic consultation and then actually acting on it then you can. Things can happen very quickly, and I hope that that's what will happen off the back of the climate assembly.
I agree Ellie, I'm just again there I recall ages ago when I was at uni there's a book called the tyranny of participation which makes the point, that if you engage with people who invest their time and energy to participate in developing policy and making their recommendations and they don't see a positive consequence from that it can leave a very damaging legacy.
Which is why the explosion of participation is to be welcomed it has to be it has to attract record of change otherwise it can actually be really undermining and can damage democracy. So, there's definitely kind of a cautionary tale to the increase in participatory events now going to go to the Slido questions and I'll start with you Ken and then Neil perhaps. But the top question which is a great question and it's one that we perhaps to ask often enough but it hasn't worked what's the biggest failure been so far in your view and what have you learned from it.
So, given that we're going to have to move at pace and we absolutely will be learning while we're doing and will make mistakes, I'd be really interested if you're all…I admittedly this is off your heads in a fairly immediate so if you can speak to that question that be great so will go Ken and then we'll go Neil and then Gavin and we'll see where we are then.
Okay well, I was funnily enough I was in a meeting yes, I talking about a very similar thing one of the things the side shows that's going on just now is hardly sideshow its housing to 2040 which is a 20 year programme, to try to make huge changes to all aspects of doesn't pull city moment and climate change in rich foot is a big chunk of answer 20 year programme.
What I think is really striking is that the we have a situation where you have aims and goals and you have diagnosis of what is the reason for seeking those aims and goals but that's not necessarily matched by a kind of infrastructure of monitoring of collecting data of evaluating intermediate success and then re assessing the direction of travel in the light of those intermediate stages, and that's kind of true of most long term policy programmes, which seek to be transformative and it seems to me that there are lessons to be learnt from other parts of public policy from going to the Christie Commission and looking at things like that and seeing you know do we have the failures in that climate change policy world but certainly think there are other structures of ambitious policy problems which have failed or not being a successful as they could because, they haven't had that kind of mission approach with intermediate stages of evaluation.
Thank you, Ken, Neil do you want to reflect on that or your own experiences.
Yeah, yeah sure I think one of the things that we be most disappointed with has been our inability to convince OFGEM and SSEN, the DNO to improve the network connections here, and we've been at this for 20 years or so we know for example we know where the tides are and we know that we will need a means to get energy out of them but we've failed to manage to get them to actually provide a better connection to these areas and that's been very frustrating, and in part that's because of the bounds of the regulator who are tasked principally with just the cost of the consumer and security supply. They have no recognition of value of innovation value of the industrial activity value of the supported communities in remote areas that they their lines upon which they run are unnecessarily narrow.
So I think our failure to get any improvement there has been a challenge now I think that is going to be changing their strategy and policy statements about to be produced at some stage which hopefully will bring Ofgem properly into the tent and get them properly focused on decarbonization in the round so I'm nothing has been that's been a failure to date and is held back industry quite considerably locally.
So, we're really looking forward to the change is going to come there. The other thing I think we also need to recognise is that repetition is not sexy and unfortunately essential so when you do a new technology you're rubbish at the first time a bit better the next time and you get very good if you practise but unfortunately from a political point of view people often just want to ribbon on a new thing and just saying I'm doing the same thing as I did before but a bit duller is not really a good way to do it to attract finance.
So, I think there's a there's a need to realise that repetition is critically important to build equipment that is going to become a product that you can just take out the box and plug it in. No you don't want excitement when you plug and you appliance in it should just work and that takes time and effort and expenditure and unremitting aggressive changed to make these things alter and we have to recognise that that that is that is a real thing so trying to get people, to recognise that bigger is not necessarily better and duller is actually quite important.
Yeah, some good points at the repetition the parts that is clearly critical. Gavin I’m just going to come to you but very quickly Ken someone's asked the question how will the public or will people be able to come and visit these retrofits is there any way in which you're able to kind of share that learning is there something you quickly say to that and then I'll just come back to Gavin.
Yes 3 very quick things one the construction is underway right now scheduled to be ready something like October, November. We're going to make a film in a video which we plan to thoroughly disseminate engage with but we have got a budget and a programme of activities we want to engage with a whole bunch of stakeholders about the walk but yes I mean and brief yes we, we plan to we're trying to demonstration project went evaluate to see what the wider learning is so whole raison deter is to do just that.
Super thanks, Gavin back to you and the question which was a while ago is what hasn't worked what have you learnt through failure.
So many things that haven't worked if I can pick one I guess we have for a long time in Glasgow being pushing to develop district heating, as I said my presentation done extremely well as a nation and as a city in decarbonising electricity we’ve brought emissions down from electricity quite considerably but heat remains an issue and it remains an issue in many different ways and comments about the building stock and all that makes perfect sense but district heating is a very viable solution or should be. In this country we have a few networks within a few islands that should say within Glasgow which have been very successful at delivering less carbon intensive heat.
And often less expensive heat but that reduction in cost has been to the cost of others and that's down to Scottish Government policy and we have been lobbying Scottish Government for I think now about six years, about non domestic rates in relation to district heating and ultimately in a city like Glasgow where you have a lot of low density housing we are paying a premium to put in what effectively next zero solutions we pay a rate burden on that network which is disproportionate to that if you wanted so gas and they have been discounted applied by the Scottish Government which are welcomed we thank them for that I think 55% discount but it still boggles the mind as to why we can't just allocate a category for district heating at a rate that’s on par with gas and fair.
So, at the moment district heating is continually difficult to achieve and we have a huge river running through the city that has the potential to provide a massive proportion of the heat required through the city we have technical surveys technical reports that show how feasible that is but that rates burden has killed a number of projects in this city and that is something that needs to be addressed.
So what is frustrating for me was a failure I think is that policy at that level while pushing from net zero and pushing for low carbon solutions on one hand is promoting not but when the other hand is maintaining policies are punitive close solution so it's very difficult for other cities to manage that you have the heat networks regulation bill coming out and all the regulatory frameworks for trying supportive networks yet there is still an increased costs for doing that. So, I find it very frustrating that we can’t make simple solutions quickly simple questions and we’re still stuck in this merry go round of applying just perfunctory discounts as opposed to actually dealing with the problem.
Thanks Gavin, Ellie particularly what from your experience, hasn't worked and what have you learned to go through that experience? I think you want to come in that's right.
I wanted to come in on the public transport one but I just I just say very briefly on Glasgow community energy developing the project. I mean it's been five or six years in the making you know it’s; it's been an immense amount of work for a volunteer team and more then you can really realistically expect people to do on a voluntary basis just to get to solar installations up and running and the path could have been smoothed or a lot easier for us.
We had a huge number of hurdles to get over an and yeah but it's been a massive learning experience so that's why I think community energy is something that should be encouraged because you land too much about the energy system and all of the problems with it through the through the process of trying to get something like this off the ground and it's just the beginning for Glasgow community energy now we've got our first two sites. We are hoping to expand over the next few years and will be going to the new members of the co-op who joined through our community share offer to get their input in as we developed the next stage.
I just wondering on that did you share did you partner up with the Edinburgh cooperative and learn from what I mean they, they came along like a few years before and it was there weather systems in place to kind of make sure that you didn't have to completely reinvent the wheel?
Yeah well, we were partnering with energy for all which is kind of cooperative organisation that helps other renewable energy colts get off the ground and they developed the Edinburgh solar co-op.
So, we did get a lot of information and advice from the Edinburgh model, but things still needed to be kind of reinvented for Glasgow and yeah, we would have loved to have done a bigger project. I mean Edinburgh have at least 23 sites I think they've now increased to more than 30 in the last year so they got solar installed on 30 public buildings across the city we were wanting to do something on that sort of scale to start off with but various problems well with the council wanting to do their own solar installations also with the PFI schools that we couldn't get to the owner of the school's to, to make an arrangement with them so there were lots of barriers that we encountered along the way which meant we just ended up with 2 schools but you know it's just the beginning like I said and we were hoping to expand now we're up and running.
Thank you, you touched on that challenge of replication and then requiring actual redevelopment because the nature of place-based context and different situations means you can't just adopt and reapply one place in another.
So we're really coming towards the end ever so sorry to all the people have asked really good questions I'm going to ask each panellist to come back with one remarking response to this last question add maybe you can you know you obviously do it from your perspective but you can see these questions there around transport this questions there around sustainable development goals, questions about…and we will we have just been told we will try and paste some questions after the fact on the website.
But the question I had, is really you know last summer there was an explosion of engagement about build back better and go forward faster and post COVID recovery all of those things as we get deployed where thankfully lots of us have received one if not two vaccinations and things start to kind of look like coming back to something resembling normality where do you see the legacy of COVID having a lasting positive impact on communities as we transition to net zero so where do you see this transition the impact of COVID actually having some actually kind of not springing back into place and reverting back to type or what do we need to do in order to hold onto that?
I know it's quite a big question and we don't have very long so if you could just try and narrow it down to one kind of remark and see Neil you picked up which is very helpful so I'll come to you first and then just so you know panellist I'll go Neil and then I'll go Ken and then I'll go Jen then I'll go Ellie and I'll end with Gavin I'll forget that order so Neil and then Ken thank you.
It was unthinkable that we would ask people to stay in their homes the best part of a year. It was unthinkable that we would have temerity to say we had to stop burning fossil fuels, we've proved the first one is entirely possible.
We now need to recognise the next the other one is something we've got to just get on with so I think the, the legacy is that the unthinkable thoughts are not really unthinkable so much I think we need to have the confidence to actually push really hard because the stay at home was achieved through social licence we need to make sure we bring people along with the change that that is going to be made we don't have a choice about this we don't fix this it will fix us. So, we just need to bring people along.
Thank you very much Neil, Ken.
Yeah so I'll just building something that you'll just say the consequences of us staying at home is that many people who could found they didn't like the homes that they had or phone that was something they could do about it or so they went out and bought other homes and they moved away from high density city sensors they tried to get better space better Wi-Fi connection and such like and actually that's, that's led to the highest rising house prices and 15 years in the UK. So, somebody said even this morning and that's not what was part of the plan I don't think that's incredibly redistributive in a negative way and, and equalising way.
So, it shows you how when housing becomes a centre piece of something like a pandemic there are consequences knock on consequences that which maybe we don't expect but think at the same time it does suggest just suggest to me an opening that people will think more seriously about retrofit to make their own their own properties more habitable better, in the whole set of waste not just about actual climate change but improving the quality of their life inside those homes as well so I think a personal individual scale but that that's actually opened a door.
Thanks, Ken now did I go Jen, or did I go Ellie?
I need to think about how to, to phrases this in a concise way an but I think that's one of dire elected to use working benefits but what other things that we see now is public health at the forum different aspects of public health mean air quality active travelling in the spaces for people initiatives that Gavin talked about. So, this kind of shift to consider benefits of sustainability beyond carbon rights so we’re talking about climate action beyond carbon that we're talking about benefits to public health and wealth being and I think that one of the longer lasting legacies the slight re-framing to think it's a chemist systems of sustainability which I do think that COVID and our response to COVID has had a role to play.
Thanks Jen and Ellie and then Gavin thanks Ellie.
Yeah, just quickly, I think it has given us all the chance to localise our lifestyles which is obviously something we're going to have to do to reach achieve carbon reduction targets. Not just about travelling more sustainably it's about travelling less, and I think the consequences that and spending a lot more time in our local communities is that you do start to notice that you have agency to be able to change things around here that aren't working as you, as you wish that they would. So, yeah, I hope it's encouraged a lot more active, active participation in, in our local areas that will be positive going forward.
Super thank you so much and last but not least Gavin.
Yeah, I agree with everything that’s been said I think everyone has taken every point just about the hybrid race through so as not to repeat those that have been raised, I think that as a result of the pandemic our appreciation of nature and green space has increased exponentially.
I think peoples your people are reportedly when working from home taking more time to go out and exercise more interest in nature our parks are have been incredible and Glasgow’s often named the delete place and never have we seen a parks become so important and so integral part of the infrastructure of a city so I think we talk a lot about and heat pumps and solar and co-ops and all these things. We have this wonderful, clean and blue asset sitting in our city that is so important and so critical to people's health. So, I think over maintenance of those assets and the value of those assets will only treat as a result of the pandemic.
Brilliant thank you ever so much thank you Gavin thanks all of you ever so much for your thoughtful contributions and thank you to the audience who participated did the poll ask the questions and apologies that I wasn't able to get through all of them but we have run out of time and I think you'll agree we've had some stimulating debate some interesting discussions things to take away and think about certainly and so really thank you all of you on the panel for your time this afternoon.
I just want to end by flagging the next two events in this series so we have series of podcasts coming out with Tim Jackson professor Tim Jackson looking at consumption in the context I think climate change which I'm sure will be fascinating anybody who's read his books will know that he's very much an authority in a leading light on that particular debate. So, please do look out for those on the website or on social media and then in September and will soon be opening registrations for this will be looking at the kind of connection and commuter kind of travel future that they set out in front of us as a consequence of the covert legacy what that looks like as we try and get to net zero.
So, two more interesting opportunities for people to join to listen or to participate in there is a survey on Slido over just for your feedback on, on this event we really appreciate it so if you could take two minutes to just say what you thought of it that would be much appreciated.
Otherwise, I say thank you to everybody and I hope you all have a fine afternoon and have a summer that’s really nice.
So, all the best, and see you later bye, bye.