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News - 9 September 2006

Cutting carbon emissions moves up the agenda

Brighton & Hove City Council has signed up to substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and reduce its energy bills through the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management programme, which will play a key role in the council's Climate Change Action Plan.

A Staff Travel Manager has recently been appointed and an Energy & Water Manager is to be appointed shortly. A comprehensive programme for more public awareness raising in climate change is now being developed in partnership with the council's Adult Learning Team which has just completed a very successful pilot programme of free environmental master classes for Queens Park residents.

Brighton & Hove City Council is already one of a small number of local authorities to use renewable sources for its electricity, such as wind and solar power as opposed to traditional fossil fuels.

With Brighton & Hove City Council the total number of local authorities working with the Carbon Trust is now 98 - that is 20% of all UK authorities. To date, 63 authorities have identified savings of £20.5 million and 300,000 tonnes of carbon.

The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership (BEHP) has welcomed the Council’s Plans to focus on climate change and commended its efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The BHEP has responded to the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan (click on link below for article in Knowledgebase entitled, ‘Economic Partnership responds to Climate Change Action Plan.’

Carbon reduction is considered to be the very best way to reduce the impact of human activity on our climate and this programme involves assessing the amount of carbon emitted by the council and finding the best ways to reduce it. Key areas where we know emissions can be significantly reduced include, council buildings (including our schools), street lighting, fleet vehicles, procurement of goods and services, waste collection and disposal, staff travel.

Simon Burgess, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council said, "As the first local authority to establish a Sustainability Commission, and one of the core signatories of the Nottingham Declaration for Climate Change in April 2005, our city council is deeply committed to reducing its carbon emissions and re-appraising its energy use.

We believe that leading by example is one of the best ways to raise awareness of the serious issue of carbon impact on climate change. The city council is well placed to influence the behaviour of thousands - we are one of the largest employers in the city and we work closely with an extensive network of business and local community partnerships.

The Carbon Trust's Management programme will offer the right, user-friendly combination of expertise and support to help us successfully reduce our energy use in areas of direct responsibility as well as in the goods and services we buy."

Richard Rugg, Programme Manager at the Carbon Trust, said, "Cutting carbon emissions as part of the fight against climate change should be a key priority for local authorities - it's all about leading by example. Our Local Authorities Carbon Management programme will equip Brighton & Hove City Council with the tools they need to save money on energy and put it to good use in other areas, whilst making a positive contribution to the environment by lowering their carbon emissions. We're proud to be working with one fifth of the UK's local authorities and encourage others to get on board and find out how much they could save."

The Carbon Management programme will run in Brighton and Hove until 31 March 2007 when an implementation plan should be finalised identifying key savings and actions. The plan will then be delivered over a five to ten year period.

Read related items on:
Climate Change
Brighton & Hove City Council
Carbon Trust
Burgess, Simon
Rugg, Richard

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