Councillors noted Brighton & Hove’s Carbon Neutral 2030 Programme Annual Report 2022-23 at the Transport and Sustainability Committee on Tuesday 3 October.
This programme is the council’s response to the climate and biodiversity emergency and sets the city’s direction for action on climate change and biodiversity loss to 2030, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance biodiversity, and adapt to climate change.
The Carbon Neutral 2030 Programme will be updated in 2023-24 to enhance our strategic approach, increase collaboration, and help the council and the city progress towards our net zero and biodiversity targets.
Progress to date
Earlier this year, a development of 42 energy-efficient council homes was completed at Victoria Road in Portslade. The award-winning development features ground source heat pumps, solar panels and high levels of insulation to keep residents’ fuel bills low while reducing carbon emissions.
We’ve installed 350 electric vehicle (EV) charge points across the city plus 3 on-street rapid charging hubs for taxis. As a result, we’ve seen rapidly increasing usage of EV charge points, with Brighton & Hove being named as one of the UK’s top 5 councils for EV infrastructure.
Since 2022 we’ve purchased 56 EVs and 4 electric heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), with a further 5 on order. Instead of replacing newer HGVs, the council seeks to convert these to electric or hydrogen.
We’ve introduced a new Environmentally Sustainability Procurement Policy to align our supply chain with our net zero commitments and maximise positive outcomes from our contracts.
At Wilding Waterhall, we are rewilding a former council golf course, restoring fragile chalk grassland and improving habitats for wildlife, while improving access for residents and visitors.
Proposals for 2023/24
Councillors also approved new developments to the Carbon Neutral 2030 Programme in 2023/24, taking forward learnings since the programme launched in 2021.
Proposals for future development of the programme include:
- Developing a Decarbonisation Pathways Study to guide strategic planning and prioritise the most impactful actions towards to help achieve carbon neutrality
- Publishing a Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment to understand the local impacts of future climate change and prioritise actions to adapt and improve resilience
- Exploring options to raise investment to deliver carbon reduction initiatives for the city; and consider the future of the Carbon Neutral Fund, which funds council-led climate and biodiversity projects, beyond 2024
- Developing strategic climate partnerships focused on reducing carbon emissions and adapting to climate change with businesses, major institutions and organisations
Councillor Trevor Muten, Chair of the Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “This year marks 5 years since Brighton & Hove City Council declared a climate and biodiversity emergency and 2 years since the council launched the Carbon Neutral 2030 Programme.
“While the council is responsible for just 1.8% of emissions, we recognise that we have a direct influence more widely, through our policies and actions. Importantly, we will be guided by evidence and the impacts of our actions through monitoring and evaluation.
“We will be exploring investment opportunities for the city, and we will take a whole city approach to this challenge, collaborating with residents, communities, businesses and local organisations to find solutions to the climate crisis."