Can Brighton become carbon neutral?
The Green Group of Councillors are backing a recent petition which called for Brighton and Hove City Council to commit to being completely carbon neutral and having zero carbon emissions, by 2030. The petition had already gained 1,310 signatures from those living in Brighton and Hove.
This is not the first time the Green Group of Councillors have been in action, though. In December last year, they campaigned for the City Council to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency, a campaign that was ultimately successful. Councillor Ollie Sykes led the campaign and is also leading this one. He spoke to the Brighton Journal about the current campaign.
“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.”
“This is not difficult… But it is critical for the future of our home.”
The Greens are hoping to strengthen their request, and the request of the petition, at a meeting of Full Council today, January 31st. They will be joined in their support by climate action group Extinction Rebellion, who will gather outside Brighton Town Hall in order to show their support of the petition and the actions of the Green Group of Councillors.
It remains to be seen whether the Full Council will acquiesce to the demands of both the councillors and the general public who signed the petition, but Brighton seems to be leading the way in environmental awareness. Is full carbon neutrality the logical next step? And is it as easy and cheap to achieve as Sykes suggests? Only time will tell, but on issues of irreversible climate change, it may well be the best option to play it safe and take precautionary steps.
Header image of Green Couuncillor Ollie Sykes protesting with Extinction Rebellion campaigners and members of the Green Group by www.dfphotography.co.uk.