At an on-line awards ceremony for the UN-affiliated organisation, the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFSH), Glasgow received the top prize of Global Green City for 2020.

The award, which is supported by the United Nation’s Environment Programme, puts Glasgow in the same bracket as previous winners such as Vancouver, Vienna, Yokohama and many other cities in Europe, Asia and the Americas. This year’s award was shared Changsha in the Hunan Province of China.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, heralded the award as a significant staging post along Glasgow’s path to hosting the rearranged COP 26 climate change conference in November next year.

Councillor Aitken said: “It has been wonderful to receive this award on behalf of Glasgow. Achieving the status of a Global Green City is an acknowledgement of the tremendous strides made by the city in overcoming the legacy of our past and building a better environment for our future.

“Glasgow is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and the city is joining together across a broad partnership to meet the challenges faced by the climate emergency. Our citizens must be at the very heart of our drive towards carbon neutrality. It is essential that our transition to carbon neutrality is just and sustainable for all the people of Glasgow, especially as we seek to recover from the covid crisis.

“With COP 26 just over a year away, there could have been no better time for Glasgow to be recognised as a Global Green City. The award shows Glasgow is heading in the right direction, but also highlights the urgent need for cities such as our own to be at the forefront of the fight against climate change.”

Glasgow scooped the award after recording high scores across wide ranging criteria including planning, transport, low carbon and energy efficiency, transportation, buildings, open spaces and the economy.

The GFSH brings together state ambassadors, UN officials, academics, city leaders, business representatives and NGOS with a focus on how to deliver the UN’s Sustainable Development goals. The Global Green City Award seeks to highlight ‘prominent progress and valuable experience’ in search of greener and more sustainable cities.

Earlier this month Glasgow City Council published a draft Climate Emergency Implementation Plan, which detailed 52 actions intended to support the city’s 2030 carbon neutrality target. The plan will soon be put forward for public consultation.