Oxford City Council sets out multi-million climate drive

Oxford City Council is to spend £19mn in response to recommendations made by the Citizens Assembly on Climate Change in the summer.

Responding, the council pledged to become net zero from October 2020, as well as outlining a Climate Emergency Budget, committing over £1mn additional operational funding and £18mn of capital investment to address the climate emergency. This is in addition to £84mn ongoing investment to tackle the climate challenge across Oxford and the wider county.

In direct response to the Citizens’ Assembly’s recommendations, the council pledged to raise the energy efficiency of new homes and community buildings; cut transport emissions; boost renewable energy installation; expand biodiversity across the city; and increase public engagement with recycling. Plans for a Zero Carbon Oxford summit, to be held early next year, were also announced, which would see the major organisations responsible for the majority of emissions in the city brought together to plot a path to achieving the summit’s titular goal.

Other actions pledged by the council included the establishment of a Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership; the creation of new carbon budgets for the city to step down to zero; and providing support to individuals and communities to tackle the climate emergency.

Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, said: “The measures we are proposing are bold and significant in the context of the City Council’s budget and reach. We are setting a new course, taking the city towards zero carbon, while ensuring this does not sacrifice residents’ living standards or disadvantage low income households.”

Oxford City Council