United Kingdom: Brighton declares its recognition of climate and biodiversity emergencies [VIDEO]

At the meeting of Brighton & Hove City Council on 13 December 2018, agenda item no. 55 was a Notice of Motion titled ‘Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies’, proposed by Councillor Ollie Sykes on behalf of the Green Group.

The Councillors unanimously agreed to review the ways that it can deal with global climate change and the threat of mass extinctions.

» See video recording of the meeting


» Brighton & Hove Independent – 14 December 2018:
Council pledge to fight climate change



Notice of motion

Brighton & Hove City Council
13 December 2018
Agenda Item 55

This Council notes with concern the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on global climate change impacts and the recent Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) reports on global species and habitat loss. Council notes also that our coastal city on the edge of the South Downs is affected by these threats, which are projected to intensify.

Further to this, Council:

(1) Declares its recognition of global climate and biodiversity emergencies;

(2) Requests the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee to:

• undertake a short review of BHCC governance policies and progress aimed at addressing locally these twin threats and to report on findings;

• consider a target date of 2030 for whole city carbon neutrality;

• consider how the Council can strengthen local protection and enhancement of species, habitats and ecosystems services under available powers;

(3) Request the Chief Executive to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer stating the concern of the Council with respect to the above, the likely national impact on the economy and on the wellbeing of citizens, and requesting government funding be made available to implement swift appropriate actions in response.

Proposed by: Cllr Sykes
Seconded by: Cllr Greenbaum


Supporting Information:
UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2018

Climate change, biodiversity and human health

WWF Living Planet report 2018

Biodiversity: state of emergency



Councillor Sykes, who put forward the call to council, commented:

“There’s nothing more urgent for this and future generations than the fight to slow climate change and protect our natural environment. I’m so pleased that this Green proposal passed unanimously at Council yesterday. Now let’s get more local authorities on board and start acting on our promises.”

Councillor Greenbaum, who seconded the notice of motion, added:

“Global climate talks are stalling under the influence of climate deniers such as Trump. At home the Conservative Government is blocking the progress of renewable energy while simultaneously pushing through legislation to make fracking easier, and there is no real plan to protect our natural assets or improve air quality. Meanwhile, our climate is changing more rapidly than we feared, and the impacts are catastrophic as we have seen from the recent California wildfires. And humankind’s destruction of natural habitats has destroyed 83% of all mammals and half of plants.

“The situation is dire and requires radical and immediate action, but with no leadership, hope or commitment coming from the global or national stage it is clear that the solutions will have be found at a local level – as we have seen in Bristol, Stroud, London and now Brighton – and grassroots movements such as Extinction Rebellion. We simply can’t sit back without trying to stop this disaster unfolding further.”

» Brighton Green Group – 14 December 2018:
Success for Greens as climate and biodiversity emergency declared in Brighton and Hove
“City Council becomes latest to commit to action on climate change and species extinction.”