Action on climate and nature
The climate and ecological crises are the greatest challenges we face.
Climate change is the change in average conditions, such as temperature or rainfall. Over a long period of time this will have a serious impact on our environment and biodiversity.
To acknowledge this and take action, we have declared a climate emergency and an ecological emergency, and we have just adopted a new Climate Action Plan.
What we are doing to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies
Our climate action targets are:
- to become carbon neutral within our own operations by 2025
- for South Oxfordshire to be a carbon neutral district by 2030
Carbon neutral, or ‘net zero carbon’, means there is a balance between the carbon emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.
Our new Climate Action Plan
Our new Climate Action Plan outlines the steps will take to achieve our aim of become carbon neutral within our own operations by 2025, alongside how we will support local efforts to tackle the climate emergency.
To become carbon neutral, the carbon produced from our buildings and services will need to be balanced by the amount removed from the atmosphere.
Each quarter we will review our progress towards delivering the actions set out in the plan and report to the council’s Cabinet and Climate and Ecological Emergency Advisory Committee, in line with our Corporate Plan performance reporting.
We will continue to monitor progress on our carbon emissions, reporting annually on them. See our latest Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions report for more details.
Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee
Our Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee (CEEAC) advises the Cabinet on matters relating to the climate and ecological crises, and recommends actions, policies and practices to reduce damage to the environment.
Climate change is the change in average conditions, such as temperature or rainfall, over a long period of time. With increases in the Earth’s temperature since the industrial revolution, our weather and biodiversity have been impacted.
Climate Action in our Corporate Plan
Our Corporate Plan prioritises climate and ecological work through the plan’s themes of ‘protect and restore our natural world’ and ‘action on climate emergency’, highlighting that the climate and ecological emergencies are important areas of work for the council. We are also developing a climate action plan which will set out how we will achieve our carbon neutral targets in our own operations and across the district.
In addition to strategy development, we have lobbied government to:
- Set clear standards through building regulations for zero carbon new buildings
- Facilitate the urgent retrofit of existing homes to ensure we can meet energy targets
- Provide local government with increased support for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including on-street charging
- Review and simplify the regulatory framework to allow councils to maximise the use of their assets for electricity generation and battery storage.
In addition, our Corporate Plan includes the specific themes; ‘protect and restore our natural world’ and ‘action on climate emergency’. We are developing our Climate Action Plan – watch this space.