Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty made a regrettably bad decision in his travel choice when representing the City Council at a COP26 event in Glasgow. We believe that he issued uncharacteristically poor judgement in choosing to travel by plane for this event and it is correct that he has apologised for this. We have received assurances that this will not be repeated.
As Greens, we believe in system-wide change and that individuals must be enabled to make the best choice for the environment. For many, this is not the easiest thing to do. The right decision for the planet must be made to be the right decision for people too, which is why we argue that climate and social justice are intertwined. Individuals for too long have borne the brunt of criticism on acting on climate change which is why we campaign on affordable, accessible infrastructure and on ensuring that big businesses and governments make the changes needed to tackle the climate crisis.
As individuals, we are not perfect and we make mistakes. As a group of councillors, we applaud Cllr Mac Cafferty’s honest and welcome apology. As convenor of our group over the last 5 years, he has provided strong and consistent leadership and one mistake does not outweigh this. We have full faith in his ability to continue to lead our group and the council.
Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty, Leader of the Council commented:
“I once again give my unreserved apologies. Since becoming leader last July I have consistently and persistently fought hard for the city we all call home. Alongside my Green Councillor colleagues, we commit to continue doing our very best for Brighton & Hove.
“With climate breakdown, a concerning budget picture, an affordable housing crisis, all combined with the need for a fair and just recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, we have really substantial challenges ahead and I reaffirm my commitment to ensure the city council takes a lead to tackle them head-on.”