15 September 2021 Climate

Invited to share our work on cutting carbon emissions

We were selected to present our work on reducing carbon emissions and tackling the climate and biodiversity emergency in the city at a parliamentary select committee earlier this week.

Our Executive Director of Economy, Environment & Culture, Nick Hibberd, attended parliament’s Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee on Monday 13 September to give our steer on local government’s role in the path to net zero.

Reducing carbon emissions in our city

The committee discussed transport, housing and the use of nature-based solutions to tackle toxic emissions. 

We shared the work we are doing towards meeting our net zero target and fed back on how the government can support local authorities with this work. We expressed the need for an overall coherent and less fragmented government framework, policy, as well as funding. 

We advised that we are currently allocating significant amounts of our own funds towards tackling the climate and biodiversity emergency but that there is an urgent need for specific government funding to support local authorities on the path to net zero.

There was particular interest in our approach to public transport. We have one of the highest uses per head of buses in England and one of the lowest rates of car ownership in the country. 

We shared examples of how, through our strong bus network and quality partnerships with local bus companies, we’ve been able to trial innovative ways to improve and incentivise our services. This includes investing in bus lanes, digital ‘tap on - tap off’ ticketing, wifi and charging points, as well as lower emission vehicles. 

Nick Hibberd highlighted the importance of active travel, including the success of BTN Bikeshare. More than 3 million miles have been made on the BTNBikeShare bikes since its launch and there are now 573 bikes and 83 hubs across the city.

We shared evidence on housing, covering a range of topics on how both new and existing homes can be created or adapted to become more energy efficient, reducing or eliminating their toxic emissions. 

In line with our aim to make Brighton & Hove carbon neutral by 2030, we have been working hard to make transformations to housing in the city.

Among some of our achievements to date, we’ve agreed a set of ‘circular economy’ principles which will be incorporated into the design and construction of future council housing.

Work is also being done to improve the energy efficiency of our council homes, replacing gas boilers and exploring energy efficient alternatives.

We highlighted to the committee the importance of retrofitting existing homes. We are looking to create a retrofitting reserve to support the adaption of existing properties to be easier and more energy efficient to heat

A strong voice on tackling the climate crisis 

Councillor Amy Heley, Chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, said: “I am delighted that we have been invited to give evidence in parliament. This reflects our commitment as a city to tackling the climate crisis. 

“We are currently stretching our own funds to meet our commitment to becoming target neutral. There is an urgent need for specific government funding to support local authorities to reach these goals. 

“There is a need for the government to provide clarity and consistency in terms of regulatory framework, policy and funding. National policies will go a long way in delivering change but we also know they will have far greater impact if they are focused through local knowledge and networks which local authorities like ours can bring together.

“We have become such a strong voice on tackling the climate crisis and it is good that we are being nationally recognised for our expertise in this area.

“I am looking forward to hearing the committee’s findings and what actions government will take to further support local authorities on the UK’s path to net-zero.”

How to view the findings

You can view the hearing by visiting the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee on the ParliamentLive website

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