4 June 2021 Climate

Carbon neutral programme outlines journey to reduced emissions

Today we are launching our carbon neutral programme. It’s a transformational plan of action, that aims to achieve our goal of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030.

The plan reaches across council services and out to city partners, setting out a range of actions we will take to reduce toxic emissions, improve health, address inequality, and increase opportunities to grow and protect nature.

We are starting with projects that will cut emissions and improve biodiversity over the next three years. After this, we will add new projects to the programme as it progresses.

The comprehensive set of actions represent a shift in thinking – from wasteful practices, to protecting the environment for us and future generations.

By trialling and exploring innovative changes in the transport network, zero carbon energy, and local food systems, we know we can make a significant impact.

We cannot do this alone. So we're working hard with partners and residents across the city to cut our collective carbon footprint together

Some simple changes to how we live and how our economy operates, such as the amount of waste that is created and the level of unnecessary travel, can make a big difference.

We want a more sustainable future for Brighton & Hove, where our lifestyles and local environment can coexist and thrive.

What does it mean to be carbon neutral?

We are working to drastically reduce emissions and achieve what’s known as ‘carbon neutrality’.

This refers to cutting the carbon we produce from buildings, industry and transport as far as possible, and then absorbing carbon from the atmosphere through actions like planting trees.

Cutting carbon is key to combatting the climate and biodiversity emergency as carbon emissions contribute to global warming and leads to devastating consequences for the environment - and our populations around the world.

More about becoming carbon neutral

Partnerships are key

Brighton & Hove has a history of working together to champion sustainability and environmental protection.

This theme runs through our residents’ individual actions, collective work in our communities and our innovative environmental projects, all working towards a collective goal of a sustainable city.

Last year, this work led to Brighton & Hove becoming the first city in the UK to be awarded a ‘Gold’ Sustainable Food City Award, recognising the partnership work and diverse community groups that pull together to make a difference. 

We want to build on this momentum and know that a joined-up approach is what’s needed to achieve our ambitious target.

That’s why the carbon neutral programme will utilise our existing partnerships, and groups from across our communities, to deliver programmes to decarbonise our infrastructure and economy at the rate and scale we need.

The involvement of partners in the programme is broad, aiming to reduce carbon across many areas, including encouraging and facilitating tree planting, increasing the use of public transport in the city and even transitioning to zero emission vehicles.

How you can help

Although a lot of the actions in the programme highlight projects being led by the council, we also want to support people to take individual action.

We’re working to make it easier for people to switch to active travel for shorter journeys. We also want to support organisations that help to raise awareness of the lifecycle of the products we consume, reducing waste, promoting repair, sourcing local goods and re-using things - all to help to reduce our carbon footprint.

For some tips and support on how to make these positive changes, local environmental website Enviropledge is encouraging Brighton & Hove residents to start making simple lifestyle choices to reduce their carbon footprint. You can also join the global Count Us In campaign for inspiration on the practical steps you can take.

There are also more ideas for positive changes on our what you can do page of the climate emergency section of our website.

Once in a lifetime opportunity

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council and co-chair of the carbon neutral 2030 working group, said: “The creation of the city’s first carbon neutral programme is a monumental development, setting out the ways we will combat the climate crisis in our city. It’s the start of an urgently needed set of changes that will benefit our city and our planet.

“Climate change is causing devastating damage across the globe, destroying habitats and driving many species to extinction. The human population is suffering too, with more frequent extreme weather events and toxic air. We cannot sit back and let this happen.

“So we’re not. We are grasping this once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the most critical challenge of our time.

“I believe that this programme of work is the first step in this journey, and I’m excited to work with our amazing residents and partners on the projects outlined in our carbon neutral programme, for a sustainable future for Brighton & Hove.”

Councillor Nancy Platts, co-chair of the carbon neutral 2030 working group said: “I am delighted to welcome the carbon neutral programme and the range of projects that are planned across all sectors in the city.

“The people of Brighton & Hove are already demonstrating a strong feeling of community and pride in the local environment - through planting trees, picking up litter and protecting our sea life and wildlife.

“It is these qualities that we need to champion to be successful in our ambitions for a carbon neutral city by 2030, with a role for everyone to play.

“I am sure that through utilising our good relationships with local organisations and our communities, and everybody doing their bit, that we can reach this target and create a sustainable city for future generations.”

Check out our dedicated carbon neutral programme webpages.

You can also find the carbon neutral programme in full on our website.

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