Brighton and Hove councillors unanimously back climate emergency petition

Brighton Town Hall
Brighton Town Hall

A petition for Brighton and Hove City Council to declare a climate emergency and go carbon neutral by 2030 was passed unanimously yesterday (Thursday).

Taking inspiration from a similar motion backed by Brighton and Hove City Council last year, Extinction Rebellion Brighton’s petition received 1,390 signatures and was debated at the Full Council meeting.

The council has already recognised there is a global climate and biodiversity emergency, but the group wanted it to release a statement about this publicly and ensure it committed to 2030 for whole city carbon neutrality.

Green Party councillor Ollie Sykes, who successfully called on Brighton and Hove City Council to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency in December last year, said: “Earth’s climate and biodiversity are in crisis and the evidence of this is all around us. Our council voted unanimously to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency and now we need to act.

“We’re demanding that our council now makes efforts to publicise the declaration and to promote action to address climate change and ecological destruction within its area of control and with partner organisations across the South. This is not difficult, expensive or controversial. But it is critical for the future of our home.”

The motion passed called for the council to publicise their recognition of climate and biodiversity emergencies and have an online banner on the homepage of the council’s website stating ‘Unanimous ambition of this Council: Zero carbon by 2030’.

Green Party councillor David Gibson said: “The key thing is that the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] are saying that there are 11 years left to take action, the great thing is that people like Extinction Rebellion and others are taking action and pushing us to take action.

“The climate emergency is totally urgent and we owe it to the future generation.”

The motion has also called for the council to ask the chief executive to give a brief report outlining low-cost measures the communications team could organise to publicise the climate emergency, and for the chief executive to promote the petition and the council’s zero carbon ambition to partner organisations including the Greater Brighton Economic Board and the Transport for the South East Partnership.

Extinction Rebellion Brighton member Claudia Fisher said: “Extinction Rebellion are delighted that BHCC have now committed to working towards to delivering zero carbon emissions by 2030. Hanover Action’s petition with 1,390 signatures in a matter of weeks was invaluable in the success of this motion. A lot of people worked very hard to make this happen.”