Day after election marks one year since city declared climate and biodiversity emergency.
Brighton and Hove Green Councillors have called on the city’s newly-elected MPs to heed the warning of climate crisis and commit to radical and swift action on climate change.
The request comes exactly one year after Brighton and Hove City Council agreed to adopt a climate and biodiversity emergency, with Green Councillors pushing for the city to become carbon neutral by 2030.
With just 11 years left to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, Greens say more must be done at all levels of politics to deliver action on the crisis.
“It’s now one year since the council agreed to adopt our declaration of a climate and biodiversity emergency. That means we only have 10 years left to prevent the worst effects of climate change and achieve our carbon neutral targets. It is vital we are all reminded that slow progress is simply not an option.
“We welcome any initiatives that attempt to address the scale of the challenge before us. At a council level, as official opposition, Greens have been at the forefront of calls for a carbon neutral city by 2030 and for a Green New Deal. Our changes to the council’s budget created a fund for projects that reduce the city’s carbon footprint. We want to see community renewable energy projects, species and habitat protection and sustainable transport given a real boost.
“Following this latest election, we urge politicians of all parties to grasp the scale of the problem and respond urgently: we need lobbying in Parliament and we also need local action.
Put simply: the clock is ticking and we must up our pace. We call on elected politicians of other parties to recognise the urgency of this crisis, and stand with Greens in fighting for city-level and nationwide solutions.”
Notes for Editors
Brighton and Hove Green Councillors proposed that the city council adopt a Climate and Biodiversity emergency on 13th December 2018, a call backed by all parties on the council. The council also supported Green requests to implement a target date of 2030 for whole-city carbon neutrality.
Currently 95% of Brighton & Hove’s carbon emissions come from transport and ‘stationary’ energy such as domestic and commercial heating and energy consumption.
Following the results of the local election Greens also pledged to work with city communities and partners, including the Labour Council, on climate change. This includes delivering a ‘City Assembly,’ on climate crisis that aims to engage citizens in helping to shape responses to climate change locally. Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty has been the co-chair of the city’s Carbon Neutral Programme Board. https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2019/11/29/why-we-need-an-emergency-response-to-the-climate-crisis/
Green amendments to the Brighton and Hove 2019 budget created a ‘Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Investment Fund,’ to support projects that reduce emissions. https://www.brightonhovegreens.org/2019/03/21/council-takes-new-steps-to-tackle-climate-emergency-following-green-budget-win/
Among various initiatives and in addition to the declaration of climate emergency, the Green Group has also successfully called for:
– A Green New Deal for Brighton and Hove: a council and city wide plan to boost skills and employment opportunities in fields of work that help tackle climate change, such as renewable energy or home insulation, prioritising policy and programmes that tackle social inequality and issues such as food waste and fuel poverty. https://www.brightonhovegreens.org/2019/10/24/the-citys-response-to-the-climate-emergency-must-create-new-jobs-and-tackle-poverty-say-greens/
– A budget for climate change work to be included in the Labour Council’s next budget setting paper for 2020/21 https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/documents/s147519/Item%2088%20Climate%20Assembly%20Green%20Group%20Amendment%20V2.pdf
– Support for school strikes and a protocol that allows young people to take part safely in climate action
– Schools in the city to be given support applying for a UN scheme to develop a ‘climate change teacher’ for every school
– An Ultra Low Emission Zone for the city
– A Clean Air or Car Free Day to support greater pedestrian access and ‘active travel’ in the city
– A ban on single use plastics at events and across the city a strategy to prevent unnecessary single-use plastics
– Investment into local transport plans, supporting public transport and cycling and walking infrastructure
– And follow up on previous work to reject fracking, protect sea life, prepare for flooding, end the use of harmful pesticides and work to boost tree planting
Greens have also raised concerns over the slow pace of progress, including on previously agreed initiatives such as food waste collection, Clean Air Day or improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure. Greens have also raised concerns that progress could be more advanced if previous suggestions such as for investment into community energy and solar had been taken up in previous council budget setting rounds.