15 October 2020

Council leader calls for ambitious climate action across Europe

Brighton & Hove’s council leader has joined more than 50 European cities to call for EU leaders to be ambitious on climate action.

As the latest meeting of the European Council takes place, 58 mayors and council leaders, including Brighton & Hove, have signed a letter to EU leaders. They are asking them to revise the EU 2030 emission reduction targets to at least 55% by 2030 and make this legally binding for all the member states.

They also want the EU to support cities with more ambitious targets by using EU funding and recovery policies to support leading cities. All cities need to transform transport, infrastructure, buildings and economies if they are to meet climate targets. Brighton & Hove has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Coming together to make change happen

The 58 cities recognise the need for rapid and far-reaching changes to reduce the effects of climate change, such as limiting the increase in global average temperature.

The letter, coordinated by Eurocities, asks for a clear signal that Europe means business on green recovery and supports strong climate action ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, November 2021.

Councillor Mac Cafferty said: “The climate crisis is real and affecting everyone. We are witnessing its devastating effects across the world, from wildfires and drought, to flooding and loss of wildlife. 

“We have to act now to turn the tide on climate change, but we cannot do it alone. We’re working hard as a council to reach our targets, but with nearly 98% of emissions produced outside the council’s direct control, we need to come together to make a difference. 

“Together we can play our part as individuals, as a city, nationally and internationally to make the necessary changes. That’s why I am joining this call for EU leaders to step up carbon reduction targets on the pathway to carbon neutrality across all of the European Union. We can support each other to create a healthier and safer environment for all.”

City actions

Brighton & Hove declared climate and biodiversity emergencies in 2018.

Citizens in Brighton & Hove are taking part in the city’s first Climate Assembly and the UK’s first Youth Climate Assembly. Their recommendations on how to reduce carbon emissions from transport will be reported early next year.

View presentations and discussion materials from Brighton & Hove's climate assembly.

Join the climate conversation online and share your ideas.

The council is developing a carbon neutral plan across all its services, from reducing waste and conserving energy and water, to decarbonising transport and supporting green growth and the circular economy. 

Read the letter to the European Council and the European Commission.

Find out more about Brighton & Hove's commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

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