A RADICAL plan to make Glasgow a dear greener place has been published to respond to a declared climate emergency.

The wide-ranging recommendations of the council’s climate emergency working group include big changes for transport, housing, shopping, parking and pensions.

The group wants the city to be carbon neutral by 2030, seven years earlier than the previous target.

The list of 61 recommendations includes reducing the number of HGVs and vans in the city centre and more car-free zones.

End single use plastic and create Scotland’s first plastic free shopping zone.

It wants more district heating schemes and action to improve energy efficiency in older, privately owned housing stock.

It calls for the Strathclyde Pension Fund for public sector workers to stop investing in fossil fuel companies.

It said that the pension fund had moved away from investing in tobacco and arms companies and stated: “We can do it again and we should do it for hydrocarbons.”

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There should be more segregated cycle routes across the city and a major tree planning programme.

A public-owned bus network, setting up the Glasgow Metro tram network and the possibility of a free public transport system should be investigated.

The report stated: “We recommend that the council engages with interested local authorities and other stakeholders to initiate a formal assessment of the potential for making the transition to a public transport system that is free to use.”

The working group recognised the need for businesses to get deliveries but said that a model of zero emissions for the final mile should be the target.

It recommends a review of HGV movements in the city with a view to reducing their number together with an electric vehicle strategy.

The committee include councillors of all four political parties on the council business groups and environmental action groups.

Martha Wardrop, Green councillor, chair of the working Group, said: “With only 10 years to make radical changes we need action to start right away.

“For instance, there are already plans for a city-wide network of segregated cycle ways and so there are areas where we can move quickly.

“The climate emergency must also be placed front and centre of Glasgow’s economy and so a revised economic strategy for the city is essential.”

Earlier this year Glasgow City Council officially declared a climate emergency at a full council meeting.

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Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said the pace of change has to speed up.

Ms Richardson said: “There is no question the stand out recommendation from the report is that Glasgow is carbon neutral by 2030.

“The previous target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2037 was itself ambitious but it is obvious that we must now go further and faster than we’ve done before.

“As a council we will seek to bring forward an implementation plan that responds to the climate emergency recommendations as soon as possible.

“Work will start immediately to ensure that the climate emergency becomes embedded in every policy and strategy that the council is currently developing.

“Cities have an opportunity to lead the response to the global climate emergency, and the work of the Climate Emergency Working Group means that Glasgow is now well placed to demonstrate that leadership.

“If COP26, the UN conference on climate change, does come to Glasgow in 2020, we can

show the world how a net zero carbon city can be achieved.”

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