THE City of Edinburgh Council’s greenhouse gas emissions have continued to fall for the sixth year running – helped in part by the upgrading of LED street lighting across the city and a drop in fleet emissions.

The findings, which have been released as part of the latest Public Bodies Climate Change Duties (PBCCD) report, reveal that council emissions have been cut by 11% in the past financial year – supporting the council’s ambition of becoming a net-zero organisation by 2030.

The reduction, which also includes emissions from Edinburgh Leisure, is mainly thanks to a fall in electricity consumption, achieved through lighting or other energy efficiency upgrades, property closures during the pandemic and greening of the electricity grid.

The upgrade in LED street lighting across the city also contributed to a third of the drop in overall electricity use, while a decrease in the use of the heavy vehicle fleet and a drop in business travel during the lockdown helped emissions fall.

In 2020-21, emissions from buildings made up 66% of the council’s carbon footprint. Meanwhile, emissions from waste totalled 9%, fleet 10%, business travel 1% and other energy consumption, such as street and stair lighting, alarms and traffic signals made up 14%.

The report will be considered by the Policy and Sustainability Committee on Tuesday, alongside the final Council Emissions Reduction Plan, which outlines the initial steps the council needs to take to become a net-zero organisation by 2030.

Council leader Adam McVey said: “It’s fantastic to see our hard work paying off, cut our carbon emissions for the sixth year running.

“It shows that major programmes of work to support a greener, net-zero council by 2030, such as making Edinburgh’s street lighting more energy efficient, is having a real positive impact on the organisation and the city.

“While achieving an 11% drop in emissions this year is a significant achievement that we’re looking to build on, we must not become complacent. We know that 2020-21 was a unique year, and some of the changed to how we worked during the pandemic have contributed to this drop.

“As we transition back into the workplace over the coming

months, we need to build on our progress to date and bank some of the progress of changes made during the last year.”