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Mike Wignall addressing the April 25 Climater Emergency session at City Chambers

Transition Edinburgh Activities 2018-19

The last year was a busy one for Transition Edinburgh – the community-led network connecting and supporting individuals and groups, initiating practical projects that strive for a greener, fairer, healthier and more resilient Edinburgh.  These highlights focus on our concerns: Energy, Food Sovereignty; Air Pollution / Transport, Plastics + Climate Crisis.

Imagining Edinburgh city in 2050

Following Fire Starter Festival events in February on a Just Transition for Scotland and a Carbon Neutral Edinburgh we co-hosted a visioning process in June with many of the city’s heritage bodies.  60 people gathered at the City Chambers to explore what needs changing and how.  Councillor Neil Gardiner, convener of the Planning Committee, responded positively to the ideas shared. 

Food Sovereignty

A stakeholder gathering on a Sustainable Food City Plan in June explored how a diversity of initiatives in Edinburgh – food growing, healthy eating, availability of fresh local produce, reducing food waste and ending food poverty – could be brought together on some sort of online hub, gateway or map.  We contributed to Kitchen Table Talks with Nourish Scotland and Scottish Food Coalition – aiming for a strong Good Food Nation Bill. 

Plastics / Circular Economy

An interactive workshop with Nicola Peel explored the impacts of our oil addiction.  Nicola  promoted open sourced machines to chip and melt plastic into new saleable products.

More recently this February a Plastic Problems: Human Solutions workshop explored what can be done about the plastic plague to free us from fossil-fueled plastic addiction.  Our Circular Economy working group – jointly with Friends of the Earth Edinburgh – is looking into strategies for reducing single use plastic packaging. 

Healthy Streets

We gathered the city’s Sustainable Active Travel advocates in May to discuss ways to promote an attractive and livable city and cut ill-health caused by vehicles congesting the city of Edinburgh. This was just before launch of City Centre Transformation consultations.

Climate Emergency

The climate crisis loomed large in early 2019.  We jointly hosted, with Councillor Karen Doran, a successful Climate Emergency forum in the City Chambers.  In May we spoke at two deputations to the City Council urging a 2030 target for the Declaration of a Climate Emergency for Edinburgh and the creation of a Climate Emergency partnership.  As a result of the deputations we have met with City Councilors to discuss how to implement these challenging initiatives for the city and the wider environment.

Join our Working Groups

In all this work we have collaborated with a wide range of civil society organisations. 
We invite you to get involved with one of the above strands of work by joining one of the action teams progressing each topic.  See these at www.transitionedinburgh.org.uk and visit our members page www.facebook.com/transitionedinburgh/

Mike, Johanna, Reem, Katharina, Pat and David,  TE trustees, 19 June 2019


Transition Edinburgh:  Collective hopes for 2018

On Friday 26 January friends and supporters sat down for a convivial evening meal at the Greyfriars Charteris Centre on the Pleasance.  A new social enterprise “Prep Table” offers pop-up Friday community meals and fifteen of us went along for a delicious two-course meal for just £12.  See Fiona’s next one on www.facebook.com/preptableedinburgh

After the meal we dreamt up wishes for 2018 and stuck them on a big Wishing Tree:

Multiple wishes

  • Electric buses – electric charging points – bikes easily hired and charged
  • Food security – no poverty – equality – electric cars – better quality homes
  • I would like to install solar panels, increase availability of allotments and I would like to purchase electric vehicles, reduce congestion and air pollution in Edinburgh
  • More love being expressed, more community building across the divide, more courageous vulnerable, open dialogue.

Mainly waste

  • Genuine glass, plastic, metal recycling with deposits refunded
  • Using cotton or fibre bags instead of plastic
  • Fruits and veg. without packaging
  • Make plastic history / Reduce plastic.

Mainly energy

  • Effective discussion around energy sharing and smart grids take place
  • Free water in cafes, pubs, restaurants and public places like Waverley Station.

Mainly food and growing / green spaces

  • Ask the local authority for a key contact in relation to community gardens
  • Expand community gardens in the Southside
  • Grow some of my food and explore more the ideas in the DRAWDOWN book
  • Make community gardening on organic principles, more mutually supporting and join up across the city
  • Get everyone community gardening / young people interested in food and learn how to prepare food to be healthy.

Mainly transport

  • I would like more active travelling in Edinburgh on foot or on bicycle.
  • Fewer people traveling by car.  Edinburgh car free
  • Tax relief for annual bus passes for work and school.

Zero Carbon Edinburgh

  • I hope we can achieve a big across parties / across sector commitment to ZCE
  • We hold a ZCE exhibition in the Holyrood parliament building
  • All Edinburgh planning guidance has a ‘general principles’ statement at the introduction, advocating climate change mitigation and reducing poverty.

Key findings in groups

  • Clean, cheap transportation, active travel, electric cars  (5 participants)
  • No plastic, waste and packaging  (4 participants)
  • Community gardens, Key point of contact in local authority, expand in Southside, organic, joined up across city  (4 participants)
  • Poverty and equality, expressed love, social cohesion (2 participants)
  • Energy sharing, solar panels and smart grids (2 participants)
  • Local food growth, prepare healthy food (2 participants)
  • Commitment to ZCE (2 participants)
  • Recycling  with deposits refunded (1 participants).

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