Councillors vote through programme that initiates journey towards a carbon neutral city

As another #FridaysForFuture rolls around, we thought it would be a good idea to share another selection of climate news stories that have been published over the last few weeks, promoting the work we’re doing to improve the climate in the city.

You may already know that as a council we declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in 2018 and following that announced that we would work towards a carbon neutral Brighton & Hove by 2030.

The range of stories in this article show the diversity of stakeholders taking action across the city to make this target a reality, from community groups to carbon cutting football fans.

This week at committee we set out a programme of works transforming the way council services operate, while working with partner organisations and empowering residents to make changes in their lives that result in a reduction in carbon emissions.

We have also asked the President of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, Alok Sharma to put a spotlight on harmful food systems when meeting with world leaders in Glasgow later this year and awarded a package of £100,000 grants to community groups that are taking action on climate change.

Carbon Neutral Programme sets out our actions on climate

Brighton & Hove’s programme to reduce carbon emissions was discussed and voted through by councillors this week.

The plan sets the direction for action on climate change by the council, partners and residents across Brighton & Hove for the next decade, focussing on social justice and future generations alongside rapid decarbonisation to accelerate the city’s transition to carbon neutrality by 2030.

Focussing initially on the projects that the council will take a role in delivering in the period between now and 2023, the programme identifies a potential saving of nearly a third of the city’s carbon emissions by 2030.

To be able to reach this target, we needed to set out an ambitious and transformative programme of works across council services, setting out clear actions and interventions required on the path to net zero emissions, starting immediately.

Boost for local community projects helping to reduce carbon

A £100,000 package of grants is being awarded to community-led projects to help tackle climate change in the city.

We’re supporting projects contributing to the city becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and our status as a UNESCO world biosphere reserve that promote active and sustainable travel, create natural habitats and improve open spaces, or support a ‘reduce, repair, reuse and recycle’ approach.

Among the selection of community projects supported through the scheme, Whitehawk FC have been encouraging fans of the club to do their bit to combat the climate emergency by making pledges that will limit their carbon consumption. 

Following the award process, we can announce that a total of 21 local groups and organisations are benefiting from the grants from the council’s Communities Fund for their carbon cutting projects

Council leader asks Alok Sharma to make food a higher priority at COP26

We have added our name to a list of signatories on a letter asking COP26 President, Alok Sharma, to make food systems a higher priority at the climate change conference to be held in Glasgow later this year.

COP26, the 2021 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, now scheduled for November 2021, will bring together world leaders to discuss how they can step up efforts to deliver on climate targets that were set out in the Paris Agreement, that were agreed in 2015.

The letter, outlines issues with the current approach to food production, consumption and food waste, and the reasons why a change in philosophy is desperately needed.

By giving a stronger focus to addressing the problems with the current global approach to food and embedded food systems, COP26 can drive change in policy, knowledge and investment and initiate a transition to more sustainable food systems.

Working together for quieter, safer and healthier streets

The flow of traffic through neighbourhoods has made them feel less safe and more polluted, leading people who live and work in the city to ask the council what can be done to make streets safer, healthier and more pleasant places.

In January the residents-led climate assembly listed the creation of healthier low traffic/pedestrianised communities as one of their top three recommendations and last year a group of residents from Hanover asked the council to set up a pilot scheme in their area.

On 16 March councillors at the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee welcomed the progress made with taking forward the pilot. It will be co-designed with local residents and councillors will review a further report in the autumn.

Schools Climate Question Time

Last month schools came together virtually to ask important questions about the climate emergency to their three local MPs as well as a local councillor.

Watch the schools climate question time film and see how young people are taking action on climate.

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