Oxfordshire’s countdown to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow continues this month with the arrival of a zero carbon tour battle bus to the county.
The 100 per cent electric bus is coming to Bicester on the morning of Tuesday 07 September, before travelling to Oxford in the afternoon. The tour will be showcasing local innovators and solution creators, capturing inspiring carbon stories as it goes.
Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council and Cherwell District Council are hosting the events at the Rose Hill community centre in Oxford and Bicester’s Eco-Business Centre. Participants can book to attend the events in person or view them online through a live stream.
At the events, Oxfordshire’s businesses and other organisations can take part in carbon reduction workshops and get practical net zero advice. The workshops will be provided by Planet Mark – a leading sustainability and net zero certification group – and forms part of the UN-backed Race to Zero and Together for Our Planet campaigns.
August’s hard-hitting Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report showed just how serious the climate crisis really is, stating: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land.”
Businesses and organisations in Oxfordshire and across the UK must therefore be encouraged to take action now to reduce their carbon emissions and help create a healthier planet and society.
The events will empower local firms and their employees to become part of a greater national effort to protect our environment by demystifying what is needed to achieve net zero. It will also highlight the good work many companies are already doing to address their carbon output.
Local topics and organisations being showcased at the Oxfordshire events include:
- Bicester’s Elmsbrook Eco Town
- The Park and Charge electric vehicle programme
- Bicester Green, the community-based reuse and repair organisation
- The concept and features of the Bicester Eco-Business Centre itself
- Low Energy Oxfordshire and the Low Carbon Hub
- Oxfordshire Greentech, the business network for a low carbon future
- Pedal & Post on transport matters
- Good Food Oxfordshire on sustainable food.
The scheduled bus stops on 07 September are part of Planet Mark’s zero carbon tour, which will see the fully electric-powered carbon battle bus visit 30 towns and cities across the UK. The tour began in Cambridge and will finish in Glasgow for COP26.
Councillor Pete Sudbury, Cabinet Member for Climate Change Delivery and Environment at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Effective action to address the climate emergency is at the heart of our work.
“Not only have we set ourselves ambitious carbon emission targets to lead by example, speeding up the process of cutting emissions wherever we can, but, much more importantly, we have put climate and environment impacts at the core of our strategic thinking, especially around transport and growth.
“We are also accelerating our work mapping immediate climate risks from extreme weather and ensure that our disaster planning is up to the task of keeping our citizens safe.
“The world needs to come together at COP26 to tackle climate change and we hope the people of Oxfordshire can help to inspire action in others by showcasing the work that is being done here when the zero carbon bus visits on 07 September. We need large-scale action, fast.”
Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford at Oxford City Council and Chair of the Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership, said: “The climate crisis didn’t go away during the pandemic. The science is clear: our warming planet is requiring us to respond right here, right now.
“Every citizen and business has a chance to understand what they can do to heal the planet, help each other, and protect lives. Everyone can find out how taking action isn’t as big, scary, and expensive as it might seem – indeed, it can bring about a better, cheaper, and happier way of life.”
Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “The COP26 summit later this year will hopefully concentrate the minds of the world on the importance of tackling climate change globally. At a local level, Cherwell District Council has recognised the climate emergency and is committed to getting to net zero carbon, both as a council and as a district, by 2030.
“The visit of the zero carbon tour bus to Bicester’s innovative Eco-Business Centre will be a chance to showcase some of the great work that is already being done here – by councils, businesses and community groups – as well as to learn from other organisations about better ways of reducing emissions.”
Steve Malkin, founder and CEO of Planet Mark, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council and Cherwell District Council on this zero carbon tour flagship event as part of the Together For Our Planet campaign in the build-up to COP26.
“We look forward to gathering in person and online with the Oxfordshire community to talk about how all businesses and organisations, no matter their size, can contribute to the fight against climate change by committing to net zero carbon. Through the critical Race to Zero campaign we can all play a part in our planet’s future”.