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Council takes new steps to tackle climate emergency following Green budget win

Council resources for carbon reduction and sustainability measures given £690k boost by Green Councillors 

Brighton and Hove City Council will introduce new city-wide initiatives to combat climate change thanks to work done by Green Councillors to invest over half a million pounds in the council’s sustainability budget. 

£690k identified by the Greens will now go towards biodiversity protection and a new ‘carbon reduction and sustainability fund,’ with initiatives such as renewable energy projects, community energy, solar panels, work to protect species and habitats and sustainable transport improvements receiving a significant boost.

The council will also increase the number of staff members working to deliver sustainability projects, after Greens reversed cuts to the team made under previous Conservative and Labour council leadership.

The report on sustainability and carbon reduction follows repeated pressure from the Greens, who successfully pushed the council to declare a climate emergency and bring forward 2050 carbon reduction targets to 2030 last December. Welcoming the report on new projects, Greens say slow progress on climate change and biodiversity is unacceptable with just 11 years left to limit catastrophic rises in global temperatures. 


Green finance lead, Councillor Ollie Sykes, commented:

“Climate change impacts are in the news on a weekly basis now. Since the sustainability team was cut by Labour and Tories, we’ve lost a few years of work. I’m very happy that council now has the resources to plan seriously to reduce emissions and protect biodiversity in and around our city, for all our futures.” 


Green Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty added:

“If you want to know what Greens stand for, just look at the work we did only a few weeks ago on the council’s budget. Following the declaration of climate emergency – and news that have just eleven years to act to avert climate chaos, we ploughed £609k back into climate change mitigation and sustainability budgets. Our insistence that the council must take action on climate change has now been acknowledged. Greens will keep pushing for action – we cannot afford to wait.”

— ENDS


[1] 
Green group amendments to the council’s budget (28th February 2019) were agreed and invested £690k into the council’s budget for sustainability, as detailed in the meeting papers for Policy, Resources and Growth meeting, 21st March 2019:

3.10: £129k in new funding to the Sustainability Team to provide staff and other resources required to expand activity in climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection and enhancement, following Council’s unanimous declaration of climate and biodiversity emergencies in December 2018. This work may include development of citywide initiatives such as food waste collection, district heat installations, renewable energy development, biodiversity enhancement in the urban and rural estate and green infrastructure work. £61K to the Sustainability Team over and above the £0.129m provision above. This will provide additional staff and other resources required to expand activity in climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection and enhancement.

£500k Investment Fund to invest in citywide projects and initiatives in Sustainability and Carbon Reduction.

[2] Brighton and Hove Green Group Budget proposals: https://www.brightonhovegreens.org/news/2019/02/27/green-budget-2019/


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