The climate emergency impacts all of us and will require all of us to pitch in to help us meet our target of becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2030.
Reaching carbon net zero isn’t just about transport and energy but green spaces too.
We are fortunate to have the South Downs on our doorstep and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, known as the “Living Coast”.
The Living Coast is the key environmental partnership for the region, representing over 40 organisations from charities, arts organisations and private business to national statutory bodies. Brighton and Hove City Council is the lead partner.
We can take pride in the fact that it is the UK’s only urban biosphere while also being home to a wealth of wildlife, including rare species like the beautiful Adonis blue butterfly and the short-snouted seahorse.
Work to look after our biosphere is ongoing and a new management strategy just came to our Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.
There are plans to identify management and maintenance methods to support the species living in our green spaces.
Work is also under way to improve the quality of the groundwater in the Brighton chalk aquifer to ensure it remains a sustainable resource for public water supply.
Managing and preserving this unique UNESCO biosphere should be at the heart of any strategy to tackle the climate crisis.
While taking care of our existing green spaces should play a crucial role, so should creating new green spaces through rewilding.
Rewilding is a progressive approach to conservation which is about giving spaces back to the natural world and letting nature take care of itself.
While in administration, Labour gained support for plans to rewild Waterhall Golf Course. The proposals include introducing grazing animals with minimal intervention.
Finally, I’m so proud to see the city’s first ever climate assembly, which we organised, up and running.
I hope every resident involved is finding it informative and rewarding to learn and influence how we meet our carbon-neutral target.
I know that some people might be disappointed not be taking part in the assembly – but don’t worry because you can take part in discussions, surveys and offer ideas online here https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news/2020/join-climate-conversation-online.
I encourage everyone to join in the conversation and explore how we can reduce carbon emissions in the city and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the leader of the Labour opposition group on Brighton and Hove City Council.