25 February 2020 Council and democracy

Brighton & Hove climate assembly takes shape

Ipsos MORI has been appointed to establish a climate assembly for Brighton & Hove. The assembly will recommend practical actions the city can take to become carbon neutral by 2030.
 
The climate assembly will bring together 50 residents and an independent panel to help shape how the city will address the climate crisis over the next 10 years and prioritise actions to take forward. 
 
Its recommendations will also be used as part of wider consultations on city plans and strategies such as the Local Transport Plan.

Coming together on the climate crisis

Council leader Nancy Platts co-chairs the council’s carbon neutral 2030 cross-party working group.  She said: “We have a limited window of opportunity if we are to meet our carbon neutral target by 2030 but I am confident that the creativity, concern and enthusiasm of our city will win through with practical actions that we can all take now, and into the future.
 
“The climate assembly will be one way for communities, businesses, activists and institutions in Brighton & Hove to come together and make recommendations for tackling the climate crisis.
 
“I am excited about the potential of the climate assembly to come up with proposals we have not yet considered and looking forward to taking forward their recommendations.”

Co-chair of the carbon neutral working group councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “I would encourage as many residents from as many different communities in the city who receive an invitation to apply to be part of the Climate Assembly. This is one of the most important discussions the city will have for the foreseeable future, so not only do we have to get this right, we have to listen.  

“This week red alert floods see parts of Wales and Worcestershire under water, reflecting the scenes of climate breakdown over recent weeks in the Philippines, East Africa and Australia. These extreme weather events show that the global climate crisis is happening here and now - and underline the necessity of working together, to address the climate and biodiversity emergencies.” 

How it will work

Recruiting for the climate assembly will be carried out by Ipsos MORI to ensure the process is independent. Members of the assembly will be randomly selected to reflect local demographics and involve residents from across the whole city. 
 
Ipsos MORI recently conducted a citizens’ assembly on climate change in Oxford.
 
Over three sessions the climate assembly will hear evidence, discuss and develop recommendations for actions to reduce carbon emissions. The sessions will include presentations and workshops and are expected to take place in April and May.
 
Transport accounts for about one third of the city’s carbon emissions so will be the first subject to be considered. The assembly members will be asked to look at what further actions we could take as a city to significantly reduce carbon emissions in transport and parking. This might include Identifying what we could do to encourage low emission travel, or increase the use of public transport, walking and cycling.
 
An independent advisory group of up to 16 experts and activists will support the assembly process, and a diverse selection of speakers will present information to the assembly. These will include policy experts, campaigners and local stakeholders.

Recommendations for action

Paul Carroll, Associate Director at Ipsos MORI said: “Here at Ipsos MORI, we are excited to be working with Brighton & Hove City Council on this important and timely project. 

“Citizens’ assemblies are an increasingly popular and effective way of helping members of the public engage with complex issues like the climate crisis and to make recommendations about what actions they want to see. We’re looking forward to facilitating this conversation between Brighton & Hove residents and the city council, as well as building on our expertise in the area.”

Recommendations from the climate assembly will be reported to the Policy & Resources Committee and feed into the council’s carbon neutral programme of projects which will be in place by early summer.

Background

Brighton & Hove declared a climate emergency in December 2018 and is committed to becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030. In December 2019 councillors agreed at the Policy & Resources Committee to set aside £75,000 to establish a climate assembly.
 
Other councils, including Camden and Oxford, have recently held citizens’ assemblies and the government has also commissioned a national citizens’ assembly on climate change.
 More about the climate assembly

Our pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030

We will do everything we can to get to zero emissions by 2030.

It’s an ambitious target but as one of the first councils in the country to declare a climate emergency, we believe we should be leading the way to support the city’s residents, visitors and those who work here to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the whole city as close to zero as possible.

We are already seeing the consequences of climate change, in our city and around the world. Together we can make a difference if we act now. 

As a creative, caring and environmentally aware city working together and supporting each other, we can have a much bigger impact. We will be able to turn ideas into practical steps, make changes as individuals and organisations to reduce carbon emissions and put in place long-term solutions to safeguard the planet for the next generation.

More information on Brighton & Hove’s actions to address the climate crisis 

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