Leading the way to a sustainable future for generations to come

Posted On 17 Nov 2019 at 10:27 am

One of my key pledges when I became leader of the council was to make our city carbon neutral by 2030.

Ten years might seem a long way off, but that’s not long to tackle the climate emergency.

It’s a huge task, but global climate chaos is a ticking time bomb that must be diffused.

We must therefore act fast. And we already are.

We as a city are already bringing down emissions in some of the most polluted streets in our city and rolling out new buses that can operate sustainably in our low-emission zone around the city centre.

One of the biggest pollutants we face in the city is emissions from petrol and diesel cars. If we’re serious about saving our planet, we need to start thinking about how we change that.

A revolution is already under way. There are now almost 500 electric vehicles (EVs) registered in the city as more and more people trade in their petrol or diesel vehicles.

To ensure EV drivers are supported in their decision, we’re installing more than 200 new electric vehicle charging points across the city over the next few months, plus four rapid taxi charger hubs.

We are one of the first councils in the country to start taking action on making our city truly electric-friendly.

The more demand we have from EV drivers, the more charging points we’ll look to install. It’s a huge step to helping reduce the city’s pollution problem.

Of course, what we desperately need is government investment in the industry to make electric vehicles cheaper.

We want people to move away from diesel and petrol cars but we appreciate many electrics just aren’t affordable yet.

I will be working with local authorities across the region to lobby the government to provide the support necessary for electric cars to be a realistic option for all of us, alongside other alternatives like public transport, cycling and walking.

Even without enough government investment, locally we are working cross-party to put in place measures that can ensure we meet our ambitious target to decarbonise our city over the next decade.

This is not going to be easy, everyone is going to need to do their bit, and 200 charging points is of course only a starting point.

But we are moving in the right direction and we are leading the way as a city to ensure we provide a sustainable future for the generations to come.

Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Peter Challis Reply

    What do you actually mean by decarbonising the city? The new buses still run on diesel and pump carbon out in the rest of Brighton and Hove and AFAIK the exhaust upgrades on older buses only removes NOx. Are you takking about council services only or all the residents, businesses and visitors included? Will you stop burning rubbish in Newhaven pumping CO2 into the air or will you install carbon capture technology? Will you be paying for all households to get rid of gas boilers (switching to heat pumps + better insulation) and replace all fossil fuel vehicles with electric or hydrogen? Will the councillors and council workers be leading by example? Will you be hoping to use offsetting by planting trees to absorb carbon and if so how many trees and how many acres of land will need to be planted to absorb the cities carbon output? And as this is a local initiative, how much will it cost us in local taxation to achieve the savings?

  2. rolivan Reply

    Why has the Council never asked the EIB for a low interest loan to fund a Tram Network throughout the Major Traffic Routes in The City.

    • Peter Challis Reply

      And if linked to a real park-and-ride or parkway station could significantly reduce traffic. But the Greens don’t like park-and-ride and tramswould mean taking road space away from the beloved Brighton & Hove buses and cycles – unless we built tunnels or had rail tracks suspended over roads.

  3. Hovelassies Reply

    As long as the Planning department refuses to allow people in conservation areas to double-glaze their windows with affordable UPVC window frame units (NOT WOOD – expensive and not eco friendly) the city will NEVER be carbon neutral. Stopping obstruction of people from improving their homes might be a good place start.

    • Peter Challis Reply

      Why isn’t wood “eco-friendly”?

  4. Climate change is a conspiracy Reply

    What a pledge, “to make our city carbon neutral by 2030”. This sounds like some kind of company mission statement. We all know mission statements are aspirational and never achievable but I admire the sentiment and enthusiasm. I agree any scheme to reduce our carbon footprint is a step toward a goal but to say this goal will be achieved by 2030, it’s never going to happen because there are too many internal (city) and external (outside of the city) variables. So stop making a big song and dance about 500 electric vehicles and installing more charging points. This city is crumbling before our eyes because of the lack of money, resources and neglect so how about using some of the millions being spent on an unachievable goal to try and fix what is really fixable. If people flock to this city because of the carbon neutral initiative, EV friendly etc what do they see, a tired neglected dump of a city with a crumbling seafront, filth, graffiti and rough sleepers and beggars. Something to be proud of…..not.

  5. Adrian Hart Reply

    *We as a city are already bringing down emissions in some of the most polluted streets in our city…*

    I’m not suggesting that Nancy Platts thinks CO2 is a pollutant but I know for fact that the race ‘to make our city carbon neutral by 2030’ means that NO2 and PM 2.5 emissions (ie the polluted air citizens breathe) are not always at the forefront of her mind. In fact her backing of the plans for ‘Valley Gardens’ phase 3 (extra traffic funneling down the A23 to new traffic lights replacing pier roundabout) sanctions increased air pollution. The “Climate Emergency action” that has been deployed to justify this particular scheme rolls the dice on air pollution. Its a vote winner this year but secretly gambling on the idea that congestion will cause drivers to abandon their cars is the kind of bad politics that, sadly, will be discussed ad infinitum in the future.

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