ENVIRONMENTAL Change Institute staff member Ian Curtis is encouraging 'ordinary people' to get involved with the climate crisis. Writing in a personal capacity, the former Oxfordshire county cricketer lists his 'top trumps' for Oxford.

The decisions by the City and County Councils to announce 'climate emergencies' are inspiring, if a little scary. Either way – excited or scared – increasing awareness about Oxfordshire’s abilities to take on the challenge might be helpful.

READ AGAIN: Oxfordshire MP answer six questions on climate change

Here, in no particular order, are my subjective 'top trumps' for the city...

1. Universities

Brookes and Oxford have very substantial expertise, including the world’s largest climate forecasting project, climateprediction.net. 12 of the 91 authors for the latest international report Global Warming of 1.5 degrees are from Oxford (probably more than any other institution worldwide).

Locally, the Environmental Information Exchange gives practical advice for local (and national) businesses. We have 500+ energy scientists researching how to reduce CO2 emissions and clean up our air.

2. Community Action

We have the most Community Action Groups ('CAGs') in the UK.

ALSO READ: Oxfordshire County Council told to divest by own staff

They deliver more than 3,000 events across the county every year (energy, waste, transport and more) with at least 100,000 attendees.

3. Schools

Those striking students – led by our own 'Gretas' – strutted, smiled and chanted in huge numbers at four events in the last four months.

READ AGAIN: Oxford schools strike back: Fourth walkout in pictures

Proportionately by population, the city has probably seen one of the highest turnouts in the UK.

4. Business

Oxfordshire’s Low Carbon Economy report found nearly 9,000 local jobs and an annual turnover in the county in excess of £1 billion for the sector - seven per cent of the economy. Agrivert, Climate Care (Queen’s Award), PV Crystalox, Yasa Motors are just a few examples. And one that got away? Solar Century, now with a £3bn portfolio.

5. Faiths

On the ground, local Churches of many denominations are using ‘Eco Church’ to promote sustainable use and energy audits of church buildings and churchyards. At a higher level, Bishop Steven has led debates in the Church of England Synod on divesting from fossil fuels. Environment is the theme for this summer’s Eid celebrations, while our local Quakers have long been active on many green fronts.

6. Activists

For many years Mark Lynas sandwiched the Georges (Monbiot and Marshall). Nowadays the banner is brandished boldly by Oxford’s own Extinction Rebellion.

7. Strategic Organisers

According to Jonathon Porritt CBE, "(The) 'Low Carbon Hub' in Oxford is one of the UK’s most important community energy organisations. It's poised to start a revolution in the way we develop and use our energy.”

Low Carbon Oxford is 40-plus City organisations ambitiously aiming for a 40 per cent emission reduction by 2020.

8. 'How to do it'

Cowley Road's Climate Outreach is an international leader in how to encourage all of us to sign up. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change commissioned them to create a Communications Handbook. We need to know how to sell the sizzle.

ALSO READ: Oxford Together on Climate Change website launched

9. Pioneers

Westmill wind and solar farms were probably the largest community-owned renewable energy projects in the world at launch. Now we have record community funding of solar roofs on schools and other corporate buildings. Pioneering lawyers have made unique contributions here.

10. Events

From the Said Business School to village halls and kitchen tables, climate events are happening almost daily. Watch out for the Oxford EV Summit (June 26 - 27 June, a national leader in the drive towards electric vehicles) - and check out Green Week (June 8 - 16).

But making lists is easy (though I’ve only scratched the surface and left out many other outstanding examples). What we surely need now – and urgently - is to come together.

The newly announced Citizens’ Assembly can be a fantastic catalyst – carrot and stick – for this.

ALSO READ: Oxford citizens assembly on climate change to have advisory body

Joining the dots and building the jigsaw will show how the whole can be much greater than the sum of parts: it will put down a marker.

Taking on the climate emergency as a truly world-class, pioneering and collective leader just requires Oxfordshire United.