What is net-zero?

Net-zero is a state in which there is an overall balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere and the amount of greenhouse emissions removed from the atmosphere.

To achieve net-zero, everyone must play their part in helping drive climate action. A reduction in emissions needs to be seen in all areas of society and all business sectors. Scientific evidence clearly shows that to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, the increasing global temperature has to be limited to 1.5°C.

The Scottish government has set a net-zero target of 2045, with the City of Edinburgh Council pledging an even more ambitious target of becoming a net-zero city by 2030.


Edinburgh has an ambitious target to become a net zero city by 2030 . This means that by 2030, we want to remove the same amount of greenhouse gases that we, as a city, put into the air.

Our 2030 target recognises the need for Edinburgh to play its part in helping to deliver on national goals to reduce emissions. And that cities will need to make faster progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions if Scotland is to meet its national 2045 net zero target.

Our longer-term vision for a greener, cleaner, fairer Edinburgh will only be possible through working with others. Citizens across the city, businesses and organisations in Edinburgh and the Council must work together to achieve this goal.

There is a lot that we need to do to deliver a net zero, climate ready

There are many innovative and exciting projects being undertaken in the city to support Edinburgh’s net-zero commitment and to help the city meet it’s climate target.

A range of practical resources and toolkits , including information on the Edinburgh Climate Compact, are also available to help businesses reduce their emissions.

How to get started

understanding net-zero

There are a number of net-zero terms that you might be unfamiliar with. Have a look at our glossary to help you get started on your journey.

business guide to net-zero

To help businesses start making change, we have put together a list of helpful resources to support you on your net-zero journey.

tackling climate change

As individuals, we all have a part to play in creating a cleaner and greener Edinburgh. We can make this happen by making a few changes to our everyday habits.

Latest news & case studies

Catch up on latest news and updates on sustainability

Scottish Enterprise is launching a new Green Heat Innovation Support Programme (Monday 14 November) worth up to £17.6 million for companies across Scotland covering industries from manufacturing to technology innovators and the heating supply chain. The new programme has been developed in conjunction with Scottish Government and aims […]
Many businesses are already taking steps to become more sustainable and reduce their carbon emissions. The climate crisis has been an increasingly popular topic in recent years and the constant news flow can be difficult to keep up with and digest. Below, SSE Energy Solutions summarises the top […]
A new catalogue of net zero carbon building designs could provide a significant boost to Scotland’s affordable housing sector, as part of a standardised approach for local authorities and housing associations to adopt across a range of future developments. The energy-efficient design and performance standards have been created […]