We want to thank all of the residents who have been in touch with us via Friends of the Earth to engage on the crucial topic of the importance of combating the climate crisis.
We couldn’t agree with you more about the severe urgency of the climate crisis, and the immediate steps we all need to take to address it.
Whilst in administration, Labour declared a climate emergency, pledged to take all actions to make Brighton & Hove a carbon net zero city by 2030, and set up the city’s first ever climate assembly to get residents involved in drawing up that route map. We installed more solar panels on council homes and rolled out electric vehicle charging points. We developed the bike share scheme, advanced the Valley Gardens scheme, developed the LCWIP to deliver permanent active travel infrastructure and were one of the first councils in the country to close roads to motor vehicles during the lockdown and reallocate space for temporary cycle lanes.
We advocated for a car-free city centre, and lobbied Government to deliver new green jobs through a Green New Deal. We rolled out e-cargo bikes, developed the city’s ultra-low emission zone, and put in place policies that would foster a circular local economy with a lighter carbon footprint. Crucially, we did all of these things whilst inviting the other parties to work with us and contribute their own ideas, as we recognise that the climate emergency is bigger than party politics.
Whilst we are proud of these achievements, we still have a long way to go if we are serious about reaching carbon neutrality within the decade and getting to grips with the climate crisis. That’s why since moving into opposition, we have remained laser-focussed on working with the new administration on decarbonising the city. We continue to co-chair the city’s Carbon Neutral Programme with the administration, and in the past few months we have submitted countless constructive amendments that have secured funds to make our city greener.
We have identified funds to roll out city-wide pilot schemes for 20-minute neighbourhoods, to set up an incentive-based voucher scheme to encourage people to give up their cars, to investigate setting up a 20mph city, to improve bus services in the city, to set up a Park & Ride scheme, to set up an electric vehicle car share scheme pilot and more.
We will work with the administration to see these schemes delivered, and we will continue to be open to good ideas on how we decarbonise the city, no matter where they come from. This is an issue that impacts all of us, and all of our future’s, so it’s crucial we don’t lose any momentum on the journey towards carbon neutrality and we travel on that journey together as a city.
We appreciate you sending us these resources from Friends of the Earth, they are an organisation bursting with positive ideas that are worth listening to, and we hope that as a Council we can take on board their suggestions.
With regards to a Covid recovery plan based on green jobs and tackling the climate crisis, again we are in total agreement and this is precisely what we have pushed for at a local and national level, and will continue to do so.
Thank you again to every resident who took the time recently to write to us about the climate crisis, let’s keep in touch and let’s work together to make our city carbon neutral by 2030.