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18th September 2020
To mark Scottish Climate Week, we are today publishing a manifesto which calls for the historic environment to be at the heart of the city’s response to the climate emergency through a 10-point programme aimed at policy makers, experts and residents.
Data from the Met Office on the effects of climate change in Edinburgh show that we can expect increased temperatures, more rainfall and winter precipitation, as well as more extreme events such as an increase in periods of intense rainfall and higher wind speeds. Wetter, more extreme weather will have a damaging affect on our historic buildings, for example in increased stone erosion and growth of vegetation in gutters and on roofs. In early 2019, the City of Edinburgh Council pledged that the capital will become carbon neutral by 2030. The Edinburgh World Heritage climate manifesto addresses the challenge of meeting this goal, while also stressing the importance of preserving the ‘heritage values’ of the Old and New Towns World Heritage Site.
Published against a backdrop of changing weather patterns in Edinburgh, the manifesto points out ways in which Edinburgh’s traditional buildings – such as tenements, houses, shops and public buildings, can be sensitively improved to both reduce energy consumption and better adapt to changing weather patterns.
The Edinburgh World Heritage climate manifesto
Christina Sinclair, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage commented that: ‘the traditional buildings in Edinburgh are inherently sustainable given they were constructed using mainly natural local materials and are well adapted to local weather conditions. With regular maintenance, appropriate conservation, and the introduction of sensitive energy efficiency measures which are proven to work in the local environment, Edinburgh’s wonderful historic environment can be at the heart of the city’s plans to address the challenge of climate change. Historic buildings are not a barrier to sustainability – they are a critical part of the solution’.
Edinburgh World Heritage also has an existing body of free resources available to the public, including a series of energy efficiency guides for residents and property owners, as well as The Guide to Building Management in a Changing Climate, published by Edinburgh World Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh ADAPTS in 2019, which provides step-by-step advice and guidance on how to identify damage and carry out repairs to keep properties wind and watertight.
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