Climate Emergency

According to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, climate change is now “one of the most significant threats to World Heritage properties, potentially impacting their Outstanding Universal Value, including their integrity and authenticity, and their potential for economic and social development at the local level.”

Edinburgh World Heritage has created a Climate Emergency Strategy to identify and address the challenges posed by climate change and a Climate Emergency Grant to fund targeted energy efficiency and climate change adaptation work in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

Follow the links below to learn more about our Climate Emergency Strategy and to apply for our Climate Emergency Grant.

The Climate Emergency Strategy

Building on fifteen years of innovative projects in relation to energy efficiency and sustainability in the context of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site, Edinburgh World Heritage adopted its first Climate Emergency strategy in June 2020.

The strategy’s objective is to address the new challenges posed by climate change by testing and defining best practices in relation to sensitive climate change adaptation and mitigation while sustaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and enhancing residents’ quality of life.

We are currently focusing on two challenges:

  • increasing the resilience of the World Heritage Site against current and future impacts of climate change – such as flooding, overheating or inappropriate actions in response to climate change that would damage the character of the World Heritage Site
  • facilitating a sensitive transition towards net-zero in the World Heritage Site, which includes the reduction of carbon emissions in historic buildings

The EWH Climate Emergency Manifesto

In September 2020, Edinburgh World Heritage published a manifesto which proposes key principles to address these challenges while stressing the importance of preserving the ‘heritage values’ of the Old and New Towns World Heritage Site. 

Our climate manifesto 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 policymakers, experts and residents.

Published against a backdrop of changing weather patterns, the manifesto points out ways in which Edinburgh’s traditional buildings – such as tenements, houses, shops and public buildings – can be sensitively improved to reduce energy consumption and better adapt.

If you would like to know more about our climate emergency work, please contact us directly.