Eastbourne Carbon Neutral 2030 Gathering: a short summary


March 15th was a significant day in the Eastbourne Carbon Neutral 2030 (ECN2030) campaign, as it was the first chance  for over two years for the many groups and organisations within the campaign to get together again in person to share their progress and their challenges since the campaign was launched back in January 2020. The gathering was co-sponsored by Energise Sussex Coast and the Warm This Winter coalition. The venue, Eastbourne Town Hall, was offered free of charge by Eastbourne Borough Council, together with substantial logistical support from the town hall staff, who did so much to ensure that the event was a success.

The gathering featured updates from many of the campaign’s members, some of them including slideshow presentations. First up was Andrew Durling, Executive Director of the Eastbourne Eco Action Network CIC (EEAN CIC), which organised the gathering. He delivered a welcome speech that set the context for the campaign, explained what its 2030 target meant in terms of actual carbon emissions reduction, and reported on some of the recent activities of the EEAN CIC which have facilitated the campaign. He also briefly introduced the One Planet Eastbourne platform that is being developed to help map the entire ECN2030 campaign in a visual, interactive way that incorporates as much monitoring data as possible to track progress of the campaign.

Many updates were given by most of the key initiatives within the ECN2030 campaign, and some of them included extensive and well-prepared slideshow presentations. These slideshows can be seen by clicking on these links below:


EcoTransport Group

Energy & Housing Group

Eastbourne Borough Council

Energise Sussex Coast

Other groups that gave updates were: EcoEd2030, Plastic Free Eastbourne, Eastbourne Jubilee Green Canopy, and Wild Bourne.

Here is a screenshot from Energise Sussex Coast’s presentation, which featured a briefing about the Energy Champions scheme that will be rolled out across Eastbourne during 2023 with the assistance of the EEAN CIC:

If you wish to train to become an Energy Champion, please contact kate@energisesussexcoast.co.uk or andy@ecoactioneb.co.uk

The updates given clearly illustrated the depth and breadth of the ECN2030 campaign and the large number of local volunteers giving so much of their time and energy to taking real action to ensure that the campaign make real progress whilst simultaneously improving the quality of life, and the health of the local environment, within the town at the same time.

The EEAN CIC intends to organise further ECN2030 Gatherings at regular intervals, hopefully every three months, in order to keep the momentum going for networking within the ECN2030 campaign and to showcase even more of the projects and initiatives within the campaign. Making Eastbourne a town that does its fair share of reducing its carbon emissions as well as learning to live within the ecological boundaries of our one and only livable planet is an ambitious and worthy goal that requires the whole of our community to come together and collaborate to achieve it. The ECN2030 Gathering on March 15th will hopefully be seen as an important step in facilitating that collaboration.


Driving to Airbourne

In Eastbourne Borough Council’s commitment to a carbon neutral 2030 one of the most contentious sources is Airbourne. An issue where some councillors have resigned. However their recently published report, on the event’s 2022 carbon footprint, showed that 96% was down to ‘audience’ travel. Whereas very little was linked to the aircraft

During the event the council undertook a survey of 710 people. They found 74% came by private car. Using Kolin Schunks carbon tool these journeys accounted for 95% of all the ‘travel’ CO2e. This being 91% of the CO2e for everything at Airbourne.

To be fair 2022 was not typical and due to industrial action had less rail travel but the clear message is, even in a ‘normal’ year, most carbon will be down to private car trips.

People might think that with more electric vehicles the carbon footprint will become very much less. However EVs with low mileage have big manufacture and disposal carbon footprints. With a trend for being ever larger and 15% heavier, than the fossil fuel equivalent, they are not the solution for everything and they still take up the same road space

Then with the raw data it was possible to have a ‘rough and ready’ estimate for traffic. Where assuming up to 10km was driven in Eastbourne and within 40km in East Sussex. This showed only 13%, of the total distance driven, is within Eastbourne and a further 21% elsewhere in East Sussex. So most of the event’s CO2e is not directly linked to the Eastbourne area.

Below are some of the measures that would reduce car trips. Experts suggest it is not enough to only use ‘pull’ measures like cycle and bus lanes. There has to be ‘push’ measures, which are equally important for the rest of the year.

Graphic from TUMI


So in conclusion, if Eastbourne wants to reduce the carbon footprint for Airbourne, they need to discourage car trips. They would have to implement measures such as car bans, higher parking charges and tighter parking management. The question is does anyone have the commitment to do this?

Paul Humphreys – Transport Group


The Eastbourne Climate Coalition is creating a new buzz in town

The Eastbourne Eco Action Network is collaborating with the Eastbourne Climate Coalition to curate and manage an ambitious programme of community-run events in the E-Hive Marquee in Princes Park during the E-Festival on Eastbourne’s seafront that runs from July 29th to 31st. All the events in the E-Hive Marquee will be free to the public and are all organised by volunteers, showcasing what local people are doing – or could do – to help save our planet as a viable home for humanity. For example, there’ll be an Eco Fashion Show with local people modelling their beautifully upcycled/recycled clothes, with a guest appearance from a local seamstress who featured on the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee. There’ll also be a Sussex flower grower, who was a CPRE Countryside Award Winner in 2020, talking about how cut flowers flown in from abroad have a huge carbon footprint and why it’s best to buy sustainably grown British flowers.

The E-Hive Marquee will be open from 11am to 6pm on each of the three days of the festival, requiring many volunteers to ensure that the events within the marquee run smoothly. If you’d like to volunteer, please email: eastbourne@cop26coalition.org

But what is the Eastbourne Climate Coalition? The most recent conference of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel, on Climate Change, COP26, took place in Glasgow in November 2021. During that momentous event there were innumerable rallies and demonstrations throughout the world organised by civic groups determined to send a message to governments everywhere that urgent action is needed to avert the threat of catastrophic climate change. Eastbourne was no exception, as a large march and rally in the town was organised by the Eastbourne COP26 Coalition, co-ordinating a wide range of local organisations together under one banner to demand urgent climate action.

Since then, the Eastbourne COP26 Coalition has morphed into the Eastbourne Climate Coalition (ECC) and now has a membership of over 40 local organisations, and later articles in this column will showcase some of those organisations, such as Bespoke and Just Stop Oil. The ECC is following up on COP26 with a project to create Eastbourne’s very own Climate Emergency Centre, a hub for climate action where local people and community groups can gather to collaborate on climate-related issues in the local area and beyond. The ECC has recently completed a successful crowdfunding appeal to raise its first pot of funds for the Climate Hub project and is busy searching for suitable premises in central Eastbourne. But the ECC is not waiting for premises before engaging with local people about climate action. Hence its involvement with the E-Hive Marquee, which is in effect a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the kinds of activities that can take place in a local Climate Hub.

COP26 revealed how far the world still has to go to prevent climate breakdown, and Eastbourne is very much in the front line of climate change, especially as regards the increased flooding risks that are a consequence of the rising sea levels and stronger storm surges of a rapidly warming world. The climate news may seem grim, but the good news is that pretty much all the actions needed to alleviate the climate crisis have a huge range of co-benefits that actually make life easier, cleaner, healthier, safer, and ultimately happier – such as cleaner air and water, better walking and cycling infrastructure, more urban trees to provide cool shade in heatwaves, more wildlife returning to the countryside, and so on.

Moreover, just engaging in climate actions can be fun too, as the events in the E-Hive will demonstrate, with songs, music, dance, creative workshops, poetry, fashion shows, and much more. Yes, the Eastbourne Climate Coalition is buzzing around town, as you can discover for yourself when you fly into the E-Hive Marquee and see what’s pollinating there!



Big Summer Beach Clean

Plastic Free Eastbourne wants to encourage everyone to join our whole-town Summer Beach Clean in July. The event will be fully COVID-19 aware.

Now the lockdown is being gradually eased and people can gather in small groups in their gardens and public places, we can begin to regain the momentum and actions to make Eastbourne cleaner and more sustainable.

Plastic Free Eastbourne wants to encourage everyone to join our whole-town Summer Beach Clean. The event will be fully COVID-aware.

Dates of the Summer Beach Clean

  • Friday 10 July
  • Saturday 11 July
  • Sunday 12 July

The time would be individualised and it will be up to you when you take part.

What you need to do

To comply with the current regulations, your volunteering group should not include more than 6 participants.

Check the map below and decide how many beaches you and your group want to clean. Select the stretch of beach by identifying the groyne numbers at each end of your choice. See the detailed map here.

Groynes are the wooden walls dividing our beach into sections. They have been set up to reduce the shingle beach material from being washed away by wave action.

Groynes with numbers.

Register your attendance by emailing your names, ages if under 18, time and date you wish to participate along with your chosen groyne numbers. Send this all to plasticfreeeastbourne@gmail.com. or phone for further details 07971 909454.

You will be sent a confirmation email along with a Risk Assessment and Safety Briefing, as well as a list of items you should bring. This will include protective gloves, which you can order for free, face-covering (COVID-19 regulation), suitable clothing, refillable water bottles, sun protection, hand sanitiser.

On the day and before the start of your chosen time, sufficient debris bags will be left on top of the lowest numbered groyne you have chosen for you to collect.

We hope you will be able to record the amount and type of debris you have collected and perhaps take a photo or two for sharing. You might also like to write a short piece to tell us about your experience.

If you want to purchase litter pickers at £5 each, please order them in your email. They will be awaiting your arrival at your chosen groyne. Payments will be accepted online.

When you finish collecting, please tie up your bag of debris and leave it next to (not in) the nearest waste bin. The local council will collect the bags afterwards.

Overall, this event is intended to make our beach clear of debris. Equally, it is intended to provide a whole-town experience to raise our self-confidence and our sense of being able to work creatively and positively during this worrying era.

Eastbourne has a well-deserved reputation for rising to challenges and bringing about improvement to our town and to our surroundings. Join us!

Oliver Sterno

Plastic Free Eastbourne , SEA~SurvivalEqualsAction

Guest Blog: Swishing Away

For a number of reasons I very rarely buy new clothes – as my mortified teens would testify – preferring to rummage around charity shops but also because I’m quite satisfied with my wardrobe collection…

Knowledge is Power

When I was invited to guest blog, I took a long look at the initiatives the Eastbourne community has already started to get off the ground as part of the town’s ambitious bid to become carbon neutral by 2030. The phrase which jumped out at me straight away was, “knowledge is power”.

Photo by Gervyn Louis on Unsplash

It’s for this exact reason that I decided I had a duty to inform as many people as possible about the impact fast fashion is having on our planet.  This is, of course, a massive challenge in today’s world, where social media plays a huge part with its influencer generation, moulding and shaping our impressionable youth.

What About the Teens?

However, there is also an alternative influencer, who at the tender age of just 17, has already drummed up an army of supporters, encouraging them to make a stand by skipping school to protest that not enough is being done by world governments to deal with the severity of climate change.  Never has the world needed Greta Thunberg more than right now.

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

As the mother of three teenagers, I can find myself torn between their need to make choices independently and my desire to educate them about their online purchases, which often come across from Asia before being delivered directly to our door via courier.  Often when they get together with friends, the conversation centres around the photo session they are going to have and which different outfits and hairstyles they will be adopting, with what accessories. 

This is not dissimilar to my teenage years with a Polaroid camera after a trip to Tammy Girl in Bradford with friends, however, the easily affordable cost of fashion for our teenagers today, along with the speed in which new outfits can arrive, to then be tossed aside after the photo session and forgotten about, is costing our planet dearly.

So What to Do?

The answer is clear; everything we possibly can collectively and as individuals to put pressure on decision-makers to reverse these damaging trends and ensure that our children are being told about the effects these fast fashion purchases are having on the environment.

Photo by Adrienne Leonard on Unsplash

For a number of reasons I very rarely buy new clothes – as my mortified teens would testify – preferring to rummage around charity shops but also because I’m quite satisfied with my wardrobe collection, which really does need updating but I’m the sort of person who is happy with what she likes, so asking me to fast from fashion is not a huge undertaking.  I am fully aware though, that this message may not resonate well with those who love to buy new clothes.

This is where “knowledge is power” and education comes into the conversation. Can we do more to convince shopaholics that there are other ways to release endorphins; that trying on outfits and deciding what we look good in can be done in a manner which is sympathetic to our environmental challenges, that helps to get the message across that we should carefully consider every single purchase we make; do we really need the item we are buying and if so, how long will it last us, how has it been made and what are the conditions of those who have contributed to its manufacture. 

Swish Away the Winter Blues

Here comes Swish – not a new phenomenon but the idea behind it, in my opinion, should never go out of fashion.  Swish is the name for an event or party which is held for people to exchange each other’s clothes, rather than going out and buying new.  The basic rules are that you take along, let’s say, 5 items, which means you can also take the same number of garments away with you.  The clothes should be in good order, clean and have plenty of wear left.  

Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

I decided to put the feelers out about holding this event, largely as an initiative for Spring Clearing Week which is organised by a national body called, APDO (The Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers), of which I am a member, due to my role as a professional organiser in Eastbourne.  Having posted this on various local Facebook pages I realised Swishing had been done before in Eastbourne and people were offering me hints and tips on the best way to hold it.  This gave me a huge feeling of hope, particularly when I was approached by a member of the Eastbourne ECO Action Network to potentially consider joining the movement.  I grabbed it with both hands, attending the Eastbourne Carbon Neutral 2030 event and chatting with stallholders about the amazing stuff they’re doing for our wonderful town.  I felt empowered. 

Now in Eastbourne

The aim moving forward is to hold four Swish events in Eastbourne each year, which will mirror the change in seasons, the first being towards the end of March.  This will be useful to those who wish to consider decluttering their wardrobes as the weather changes, bringing items to Swish events for others to consider reusing.  Like all things which need to catch on, changing habits is the key reason for holding this event four times per year.  The more we get the message out there; the more informative our message is about the difference we can make, the more people will take notice and realise that the power of knowledge really can change lives and ultimately secure our planet for a much longer future.

Eastbourne Swish Event

21 March

If you would like to be involved in this event or would like more information you can email to sortingoutspacesos@gmail.com.

Jules Anderson

Professional Declutterer

The ECN2030 campaign lifts off!

This took months of discussion and planning, creating and navigating the partnership with the Eastbourne Borough Council, local community groups, councillors, businesses and activists – hundreds of emails and phone calls, but we finally did it!

This took months of discussion and planning, creating and navigating the partnership with the Eastbourne Borough Council, local community groups, councillors, businesses and activists – hundreds of emails and phone calls, but we did it! Eastbourne’s response to the Climate Emergency took off at the official launch of ECN2030 at the Welcome Building conference centre on Saturday 18th January.

Over 1,000 people walked through the doors. The entry was free so some visitors planned their visit especially and some just dropped in on the way to their daily business, the East Sussex College students were invited to help with photography and filming.

Photo: Hilsea Portsmouth

From stall to stall, from presentation to presentation local activists were revealing how our carbon footprint is created, how it affects us and what we must do now to avoid environmental disaster. What united all those people was one concern – what will become of our town in the face of the Climate Emergency and what we can do about it.  

As a result of the event, the Eastbourne ECO Action Network has quadrupled the number of its members. All eight of its Working Groups are now formulating practical projects for our town designed to help reduce local carbon emissions – the message is definitely coming across.

Photo: Hilsea Portsmouth

Our initiatives include:

  • Pledging by local businesses to join a four-tier programme to reduce carbon emissions 
  • Much more work on the planting of trees, hedges, green roofs, moss walls etc.
  • Promoting healthier, greener streets
  • Building a network across the education community – students, parents and staff
  • Promoting greater energy efficiency in poorly insulated buildings
  • Encouraging many more renewable energy installations 
  • Creating a community food store using local produce 
  • Campaigning for a better local network of safe walking and cycling paths, as well as better bus services, in order to help shift more people away from using cars
  • Getting Eastbourne Park designated as a Local Nature Reserve
  • Creating a Climate Adaptation Strategy to enable the town to cope with the impacts of climate change

And much, much more…

The Eastbourne ECO Action Network is always looking for more funding for its efforts, more volunteers to help it with its work, and more local businesses and community groups to partner with it. Join us or donate at our website:  www.ecoactioneb.co.uk

Andrew Durling

ECO Action Network, Financial Director