Since declaring a climate emergency in 2018, we have been working to embed sustainable practices across services and encouraging the de-carbonisation of local practices and transport.
We know that it is crucial for Brighton & Hove to do our bit to combat the climate emergency and that is why we have set a target for the city to become carbon neutral by 2030.
For #FridaysForFuture we thought we would share some highlights over the last few weeks of the work we have been doing to move us closer to this target.
Hydrogen revolution sparks into action
The council is part of a new energy group dedicated to putting Greater Brighton at the forefront of a hydrogen fuel revolution.
Local authorities, businesses and organisations from across the region and further across the county have formed a group called Hydrogen Sussex which will launch on Friday, February 26.
By pooling expertise and lobbying power Hydrogen Sussex aims to position the clean fuel as a mainstream energy carrier to help the drive to become a zero carbon economy.
Hydrogen Sussex will be well placed to support and stimulate the development of clean alternatives for some of the highest emitters of carbon and air pollution that are also critical for the UK economy – planes, ships, lorries, and buses.
They are also helping to facilitate conversations and projects with their members in the region: Ricardo and Brighton & Hove Buses are working together on a project to convert existing buses to hydrogen fuel cells, and Hydrogen Sussex has enabled organisations to collaborate on bid applications.
Council calls on government to speed up legislation to support active, sustainable and accessible cities
Brighton & Hove City Council is calling on the government to speed up legislation to support schemes designed to encourage active travel and improve the health of people in the city.
Amy Heley, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability committee has written a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, asking that plans to give councils more powers to enforce moving traffic offences are introduced sooner rather than later.
The letter, which was sent in February 2021, says that secondary legislation of part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 is needed so that councils can ‘enforce appropriately to minimise congestion and maximise traffic flow, improve air quality, calm traffic, improve safety, and enhance accessibility.’
The council is currently working on a number of schemes for which would be greatly supported by the new legislation including, School Streets and a pilot of a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Hanover. It would also help us enforce antisocial pavement parking, something the council has been wanting to address for some time.
Move for Change – Phone app rewarding active and sustainable travel in Brighton & Hove
People in Brighton & Hove can now be rewarded for choosing active and sustainable travel.
The ‘Move for Change’ initiative, powered by the BetterPoints app, has been launched this month to encourage and reward residents and employees for walking, cycling, and using public transport.
By signing up to the Move for Change challenge, residents and commuters can collect points which can then be exchanged for discounts and vouchers at local shops.
Since February 1, more than 100 people have signed up, over than 1500 activities have been logged and almost 2500 miles have been travelled.
Council supports sustainable recovery through Budget for 2021/2022
To enable Brighton & Hove to recover as a sustainable city, we have dedicated more money in proposals for the Budget fo the financial year 2021/2022.
This is in an effort to combat the climate and biodiversity emergency declared in 2018 and deliver on the aims for a carbon neutral city by 2030, through over £20 million capital and revenue support for sustainability and carbon reduction, including a £200,000 Carbon Reduction Reserve.
The funds will go towards improving the sustainability and biodiversity of the city, promoting active travel, investing in green spaces and tree planting, and improving air quality through the School Streets and Low Traffic Neighbourhood initiatives.
Have you watched the videos from the Climate Assembly yet?
In the latter stages of 2020, we held our first ever citizens assembly on climate, where we asked a selection of randomly selected residents: “How can we step up actions to reduce transport-related emissions in the city?”
Due to Covid-19, the assembly, which was planned to be in person, was held virtually, thought to be the first ever to be conducted this way.
One of the benefits of holding the climate assembly virtually was that we could record the presentations for all those that wanted to watch them, which we have stored on the climate assembly section of our website for all to see.
The recommendations within the findings report that came out of the climate assembly will be considered and used to inform our carbon neutral programme and our approach on how to make transport work for everyone in the city, reduce carbon emissions and address the climate emergency.
Brighton & Hove Youth Council aims to reduce plastic waste
Last year, Brighton & Hove Youth Council ran a Youth Climate Assembly to accompany the Climate Assembly that was run by Ipsos MORI to ensure that the voice of the youth city was heard.
To build on the momentum, the Youth Council have set their sights on reducing plastic waste in the city to encourage a stronger focus on fighting climate change for future generations.
Brighton & Hove Youth Council is now recruiting. Anyone aged 13 to 19 who lives in the city or attends a local school, college or youth group, is eligible to join, as well as adults up to the age of 25 who have a special educational need or disability.