How the council is acting on the climate crisis

Over the last few months we’ve been putting in place practical initiatives to address the climate emergency and reduce carbon emissions, both as a council and with city partners.

Brighton & Hove City Council leader Nancy Platts said: “Climate change actions cover every aspect of the way we live. As a city we’ve been leading the way in many of these areas and are well-placed to build on the collaboration, knowledge and creativity that already exist in our communities. 

“Since declaring a climate emergency we have been extremely busy exploring what we can do within our own services as well as how we can support and encourage climate change actions in the city to tackle the climate crisis. In December we’ll be proposing a city assembly to bring people together to learn about the challenges of carbon reduction and recommend further actions.”

Leading the way

  • Brighton & Hove was one of the first councils to declare a climate emergency and support the youth climate strikes – in September 2019 we welcomed our first accredited climate change teacher in the city.
  • We were the first city in the UK to achieve Silver Sustainable Food City status, and are currently bidding for Gold. 
  • In September 2019 Brighton & Hove became the first in the UK to have buses that can run in zero-emissions mode whenever they go through the city centre. These 30 new extended range hybrid electric buses are now running in zero-emissions mode in the city’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone.
  • The Brighton Waste House is Europe’s first permanent public building made almost entirely from material thrown away or not wanted.

Circular Economy

We are working with council services, local business, organisations and industry experts to identify opportunities for creating policies, guidance and practice to help keep materials in use for as long as possible by re-using, recycling, remanufacturing and sharing resources.

This is known as the ‘circular economy’ and we aim to make this model central to the way we use our buildings, supplies and skills to deliver public services. 

Using the principles of the circular economy leads to fewer materials being thrown away and better use of local resources, reducing carbon emissions and our impact on the environment as well as reducing costs. 

In partnership with Circular Brighton & Hove we are holding sessions on the themes of the ‘Built Environment and Construction’ and the ‘Visitor and Cultural Economy.’ Both are relevant for many council services and activities across the city.

Collectively we are identifying how to make better use of materials, resources and spaces and finding practical ways to:

  • Contribute to carbon reduction 
  • Reduce waste and reuse materials
  • Share resources and ideas
  • Create savings by using less
  • Support and develop a circular economy ‘route map’ for the city.

Developing the circular economy is a key part of the Brighton & Hove Economic Strategy 2018-2023.

Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Investment Fund

We agreed £500,000 to set up the Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Investment Fund and are in the process of seeking to commission projects.

Schemes to be funded have to fulfil one of the following themes:

  • Energy efficiency and renewables
  • Biodiversity enhancement
  • Active and sustainable travel
  • Green infrastructure
  • Moving towards a circular economy
  • Healthy, sustainable and fair food

Learn more about the Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Investment Fund from the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee (agenda item 13)

Ten actions this summer and autumn

Declaring a climate emergency 

In December 2018, the council recognised global climate and biodiversity emergencies.

In January 2019, the council declared a climate emergency and put in place a commitment to make Brighton & Hove carbon neutral by 2030.

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