In July 2019, Eastbourne Borough councillors unanimously declared a Climate Emergency and committed to delivering a carbon neutral town by 2030.

This was part of the national and international effort to help mitigate climate change in line with the targets set by the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change at the Paris COP21 in 2015. With help from Eastbourne Borough Council, some local voluntary groups collaborated to set up the Eastbourne Eco Action Network with the objective of achieving the 2030 target.

Curated by the Eastbourne Eco Action Network (EEAN), this Symposium on Saturday 20th April is designed to be an important step towards achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2030. This event will provide participants with the chance to share the results and analysis of EEAN’s recent public survey among households and organisations. They will also be able to receive some help and advice about setting targets for reducing their own carbon emissions or those from their own organisations, and about how to measure progress towards those targets, as well as having the opportunity to help plan the town’s strategies and targets over the coming year and future years up to 2030.

Keynote speakers will put the Carbon Neutral 2030 campaign into context and explain how everybody can be a crucial part of it. There will be presentations about some of the digital tools that can be used to create carbon reduction plans and targets. There will then be a chance for everybody to practise creating those plans and targets in break-out groups, and to share ideas and suggestions with each other. There will also be a prize draw to select winners from amongst those people who participated in the Eastbourne Carbon Neutral 2030 survey.

Oliver Sterno, Community Leader for Plastic Free Eastbourne, said: “This may well be the very first time that an effort to set targets for annual review as ‘incremental stepping stones’ has been set up. For me, it is the best and most effective way for following this strategic pathway with a view to monitoring and evaluating as we make our way towards achieving our goal.”

Andrew Durling, a director of the EEAN, says “This Symposium is an excellent opportunity to be part of a community-wide drive to make real progress towards making Eastbourne not only a Carbon Neutral town by 2030, but also a nicer place to live and work in, as reducing carbon emissions has many benefits such as cleaner air, safer streets, more green spaces and wildlife, cleaner and cheaper energy”

Cllr Jim Murray, Cabinet Lead for Climate Change at Eastbourne Borough Council, said

“This type of information will directly help steer the council in the right direction, with the support of the residents, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, working together to improve the town”.

This is intended to become an annual event to help local residents and organisations gain more and deeper participation as we move towards the final 2030 target.

The Symposium will be held in the CourtRoom of Eastbourne Town Hall, Grove Road, BN21 4UG. It starts at 1pm on Saturday 20th April.

Tickets for the event are free, and can be booked at: https://eastbourne-eco-action-network-cic.onlineticketseller.com/events/69089