Campaigners urge Eastbourne council to declare ‘Climate Emergency’

Clean Air campaigners at a demonstration in Hampden Park earlier this year, photo by Dan Jessup
Clean Air campaigners at a demonstration in Hampden Park earlier this year, photo by Dan Jessup

Eastbourne campaigners are calling on the council to act now to prepare for rising sea levels and climate change.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) is urging the borough council to table a Climate Emergency Motion which would aim for Eastbourne to become carbon neutral by 2030.

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This would require Eastbourne Borough Council to come up with a plan within six months to help reduce levels of carbon emissions.

Andrew Durling, coordinator of Eastbourne FoE, said, “Eastbourne is clearly at risk from flooding from the sea, a risk that will only increase as the climate changes ever more rapidly, bringing significant sea level rises and stronger, more frequent storm surges.

“I know it’s very uncomfortable to think about such risks now, but we have to get our insurance policies in place now for managing those risks, before it’s too late.

“We take precautions in our own home to minimise the risk of fire, such as installing smoke alarms and fire extinguishers/blankets. Similarly we must take steps now to think through what can be done to avoid catastrophic damage to local homes, businesses and infrastructure.”

He added, “After all, Eastbourne, as a coastal community, is literally on the front line of climate change, so if we can’t demonstrate how to deal with climate risks effectively ourselves, how can we expect other areas to do what is necessary to reduce our own vulnerability to sea level rise?”

This comes after leading climate scientists said urgent action needs to be taken to stop global warming exceeding 1.5 degrees and creating a ‘climate catastrophe’.

And earlier this month world famous environmentalist Sir David Attenborough called climate change ‘our greatest threat’ at a United Nations talk.

Find out more about Eastbourne Friends of the Earth here.