LISTEN: Mike Robinson explains why climate change is such a passionate issue in Highland Perthshire
With an ambition on becoming the most sustainable small city in Europe, the Sustainable Perth Conference 2020 will bring figures from across Highland Perthshire aspire this into reality.
Meeting today, the conference aims to look at how Scotland’s smallest city make the biggest difference, not just nationally, but across the continent.
Chief Executive for the Royal Geographical Society, Mike Robinson, explained: “What we’re actually talking about isn’t some optional add on, we’re talking about fresh air, we’re talking about freshwater, we’re talking about soil that you can grow things in.
“That’s what sustainability’s all about, it’s about valuing and treasuring the things that actually make life possible.”
Now the aspiration is to make Perth Scotland’s first carbon-neutral city by 2040, which this conference is hoping to do by bringing in local businesses, communities, local authority and more into the conversation.
However, some people would argue that the measures needed to make this happen would be costly and only make life more difficult.
Mr Robinson responded by saying: “We’ve only managed to ignore its investment in the past by almost pretending it’s on the balance sheet.
“We’ve been really poor in recording the impact on the environment in an economic way, and therefore it’s very easy to dismiss.
“But it’s actually getting to a point where it’s having both human and economic impacts that are very real.”
To get into these issues, the conference will be exploring ‘innovation, transport, placemaking, food, environment, energy, resources, waste and fairness, among other topics.’
Looking ahead of today’s session, Mr Robinson said: “The whole point of this summit, this conference and this agenda, is to have a positive conversation, it’s to be ambitious for Perth and the area.
“And it’s to really have a go at things that we can sit back in twenty years’ time where we can sit back and say ‘I’m really proud that we did that, look at how future proof that is.’”
“We’ve got an opportunity here to actually think it through, plan it and build the Perth we want to see.”