Continuing the climate and biodiversity journey

Brighton & Hove joined around 30 local leaders from across the UK for the online Net Zero Local Leadership Summit last year.

Together we pledged to work together to enable local communities to act on climate change and biodiversity loss. We also pledged to press government for more powers and resources to develop bigger, more successful solutions.

Over 90 cross-party local leaders, representing more than half of the UK population, have now committed to meeting net zero at least five years earlier than central government.

In Brighton & Hove, we are continuing to harness the city’s creativity, resource and knowledge to take forward practical actions and make our voice heard in the region, nationally and internationally.

Climate Action Together

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “We’re working with other organisations in Brighton & Hove, nationally and internationally so that we can share challenges, intelligence and solutions that will get us to net zero by 2030.

“Joining together with other local council leaders means we will make our voices heard more urgently.

“Action at a local level is vital to success – we often use the phrase think global, act local. Brighton & Hove is a unique place, where people understand why this matters and want to play their part. We need to tap into this spirit to make changes that will drive down toxic emissions and slow down and prevent the devastating effects of the climate crisis.”

Councillor Nancy Platts, co-chair of the cross-party Carbon Neutral Working Group, said: “We want to see communities share the benefits of climate and biodiversity actions, from clean air and locally-grown food to energy-efficient homes, jobs in the sustainable economy and more space for nature and wildlife.

“Everyone has a part to play in creating these benefits, and we look forward to supporting local actions through the carbon neutral working group and carbon neutral programme throughout 2022.”

What we've done

Here are some of the things the council has done in the last six months:

What's happening next

Over the next months we are looking forward to:

  • Creating more chalk meadows in the city through the Changing Chalk project following a successful bid to the National Lottery in 2021
  • Launching Wilding Waterhall a wilding project to restore biodiversity on a former council golf course
  • Introducing climate change training for staff across the council
  • Working with the Aquifer Partnership to make a ‘rainscape’ in Wild Park which will reduce pollution and improve the area for people and nature
  • Supporting schools to develop and trial climate actions through the headteachers’ climate steering group
  • Planning and delivering Circular Economy community events, starting with an April event in Whitehawk (part of BLUEPRINT to a circular economy)
  • The city nature challenge from 29 April, a weekend of nature spotting and recording to help us study and protect nature on our doorstep
  • Planting thousands more young trees as part of the Carden Hill Woodland Scheme
  • Bringing together partners in the region to produce a Blue/Green Investment Plan of projects for a net zero economy. This work will include ensuring benefits are shared across communities, for example making access to energy and water affordable for all residents
  • Installing 100 starling nesting boxes, made as part of the Undercurrents exhibition, on council land
  • Celebrating completion of the SOLARISE project which installed solar energy in some of our council housing blocks and trialled new ways for residents to gain maximum benefit from the energy generated
  • Residents shaping new planning guidance to protect and improve nature in the city
  • As one of the partners of Hydrogen Sussex, helping to trial fuel-switching from gas to hydrogen for brick production, in what could be a world first.

Further information

More about the Blue/Green Investment Plan and Hydrogen Sussex at the 1 February Greater Brighton Economic Board. Read the reports or watch a recording of the meeting.

The council is the lead partner in The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere Region, the UK’s only urban biosphere. Find out more about The Living Coast

Watch the Net Zero Local Leadership Summit film.

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