On November 4, Cabinet councillors agreed on a strategy and action plan to deliver its goal of making the town carbon neutral by 2030.
In July 2019, Eastbourne Borough Council declared a Climate Emergency and committed to doing everything possible to reduce carbon emissions in the borough to net zero by 10 years’ time.
The Borough Carbon Baseline is the measure of carbon dioxide emissions within the town’s boundary from energy used for heating, power and transport. As of 2017, the most recent year for which there is complete data, this figure was 296.7 kilo tonnes CO2 (ktCO2).
Council emissions, based on its directly controllable consumption of gas, electricity and fuel, count for around 1% of the overall footprint for the borough.
Councillor Jonathan Dow, Cabinet member for Climate Change, said: “We, as a town and a council, have started on a very important journey to become more sustainable through changes to people’s lifestyles and the way the council operates. “During the first lockdown, as difficult as that experience was, we began to see changes start to happen – improved air quality, an appreciation of carless streets and renewed interest in cycling and walking.
“There should be no return to business as usual. Now we must work together to build upon these positive developments and this excellent strategy shows how we will achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.”
Council activities include decarbonising all Eastbourne Homes housing stock by 2030; decarbonising council vehicles by this date; buying renewable electricity and reducing its energy consumption; tree planting and nature projects, and undertaking a public consultation to engage residents in recycling more and producing less waste.
The council will produce an annual progress report detailing the council and borough carbon footprints.
Councillor Dow added: “Thank you to all those contributed to developing this strategy, in particular the Climate Change Strategic Panel and Eastbourne Eco Action Network.”