A new council committee in South Oxfordshire, which aims to help tackle the climate emergency, met for the first time this week and unanimously recommended that the council should aim to become carbon neutral by 2025 and the whole district by 2030.
The role of the new Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, a politically balanced group of 12 councillors, who met in public at Cornerstone in Didcot on 19 September, is to make recommendations on how South Oxfordshire District Council can reduce damage to the global and local environment through its policies and practices.
Among the topics discussed by the committee included the council’s response to the climate emergency through its policies and projects, and how it runs its day-to-day operations.
The council’s target to become a carbon-neutral council by 2025 goes beyond the suggested 2030 target as set out in the council’s pre-prepared report, pledges made by other councils across Oxfordshire and the timescales outlined by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report October 2018.
Cllr Sue Roberts, Chair of the committee, said, “We’ve recommended a target of becoming a carbon-neutral district by 2030, and went even further, to suggest a very challenging target for the council, within its own operations, to be carbon neutral by 2025. This will require liaison with other councils and groups as well as funding from central government, but we must act quickly and decisively if we are to contribute to becoming a carbon-neutral society.”
The committee’s recommendation for these goals will now go to the council’s Cabinet and Full Council meetings for further discussion before it can be fully adopted.
The committee is a politically balanced group of 12 councillors and meets in public to advise the council’s Cabinet on matters relating to the climate emergency.
The committee will research ways in which the council can contribute to national and countywide targets on climate and ecological issues and identify sources of external funding relating to the climate emergency.
The council declared a climate emergency at a meeting in April 2019.
This new committee will make recommendations on how the council can set a course for the district to help tackle the global and local environment through its policies and practices. It would also aim to work with and advise and influence partner organisations.