8 October 2021 Climate

£3.2m invested to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergency

A massive cash investment of £3.2m, including £1m on tree planting, was agreed by city councillors as part of a city-wide effort to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergency. 

The funding, which comes from the council’s Carbon Neutral Fund, will be used to fund a variety of projects across council services to help tackle the current climate and biodiversity emergency. 

The council declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in 2018. The Carbon Neutral Fund is part of the 2030 Carbon Neutral programme, our transformational plan of action, that aims to achieve our goal of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030.

£1m towards tree planting

Nearly a third of the £3.2m investment is £1m on tree planting which will be used to increase the number of trees across the city including creating more woodland and planting more street trees.

Planting trees has numerous benefits. Our trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and provide shade which in turn helps to moderate temperatures, providing a healthier city for us to live in. 

With more trees and woodland across the city we are helping to tackle the biodiversity emergency. Creating ‘green corridors’ to connect local green areas which supports different species and habitats to thrive.

Funding for other climate projects

As well as tree planting, councillors have agreed to fund a number of important climate action projects across council services including:

  • Electric Vehicle Charging – improving electric vehicle charging across the city including fast charging points in housing areas, HGV charging at Hollingdean depot and electric vehicle charging points for city parks vehicles.
  • Air quality monitoring –improving how we measure air quality in the city and supporting a local air monitoring network.
  • Wildlife & wildflowers in grass verges – To increase wildlife and wildflowers across the city this funding supports the investment of specialised cutting equipment which will reduce the amount of cutting needed per year of our grass areas and support an increase of biodiversity.
  • LED Lighting replacements –replacing lighting with LED lighting in schools and various sports centres across the city, decreasing carbon emissions as well as reducing energy costs.
  • Decarbonised heat pilot -  pilot project exploring the installation of heat pumps in council buildings to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Wilding Waterhall Golf Course – supporting the highly nuanced grazing needed in this area including cattle GPS collars, fencing, cattle grids & increased water supply.
  • Energy and water efficiency projects – exploring water usage efficiency projects and energy efficiency surveys in the council’s property portfolio
  • Madeira Terraces Restoration –investigating the use of sustainable concrete mix and with a focus on restoring key historic features through the treatment of existing cast iron.
  • Sustainable drainage  schemes including in Wild Park – exploring sustainable drainage systems (SuDs) which use natural processes to help protect our groundwater as a sustainable resource for the future and to prevent flooding.

This funding is all part of our broader target to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergency and to help in our journey towards being carbon neutral by 2030. 

"We are turning our ambitions into action"

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, co-chair of Carbon Neutral Members Working Group, said:

“We are in a climate and biodiversity emergency. Every day we see examples of the devastating damage caused by climate change across the globe. We must act now to tackle this crisis. 

“Our young people deserve to inherit a better and healthier world than the one we are currently creating for them.

“This £3.2m investment as part of our 2030 Carbon Neutral programme demonstrates how we are turning our ambitions into action and prioritising climate action work across our services. 

“The climate and biodiversity emergency is the greatest and most urgent challenge we face and I am proud that as a council we are prepared to do everything we can to address it. With COP26 now just weeks away we demand that global leaders step up and take real action to avert this crisis.”

Councillor Nancy Platts, co-chair of Carbon Neutral Members Working Group said:

“Tackling the climate crisis and protecting our planet for future generations must remain a priority for which each of us takes responsibility.  Our local communities have rolled up their sleeves and thrown themselves into planting trees and developing wonderful community gardens bursting with wildflowers in every corner of our City. 

“People have organised litter picking teams in parks, streets and on the seafront to protect the environment from harmful plastics. 

“This investment will support more action to make a difference and I want to thank each and every person who is doing their bit to get involved and create a sustainable City – you are an inspiration!”

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