OXFORD'S Citizens Assembly on Climate Change will involve 50 randomly selected residents at its opening meeting in September.

The UK's first assembly of its kind will sit over two full autumn weekends, in which participants will learn about the climate crisis and various emission reducing options before making recommendations to Oxford City Council.

In January, councillors unanimously declared a climate emergency and agreed to create the assembly to look at how the city can move towards net zero carbon emissions - with a 2030 target set.

ALSO READ: 'Climate emergency' in Oxford as council rejects Expressway plans

An independent Advisory Group has been established to agree the format and objectives for the Citizens Assembly and define the issues it will consider.

City Council leader Susan Brown, who is on the body, said: “The climate emergency we all face means we need to make some fundamental changes in the way we live.

"Oxford is already demonstrating leadership in driving those changes, so I’m delighted that we will also be the first city in the UK to hold a Citizens Assembly to help shape our collective response to climate change.

ALSO READ: Zero Emission Zone proposals - your questions answered

"We’re working with Oxford University academics, community groups and others to shape its programme."

She continued: “The Council will take a lead; we’ve already made clear we want to cut our carbon emissions to zero. But, our own carbon footprint represents just one per cent of emissions in Oxford and we want the Assembly to help set a course for the city as a whole and for everyone to do their bit.”

50 residents will be selected 'through a stratified random process, creating a ‘mini-public’ broadly representative of the demographics of the population', according to Oxford City Council, who said residents cannot apply for the Ipsos MORI-run recruitment process.

ALSO READ: Student strike Oxford - Third demonstration in Bonn Square over climate

Each will be paid £300 and take part in a series of structured sessions, hearing from expert speakers with a range of different perspectives.

The group will later vote on a number of options, which will then form the recommendations presented to the Council for consideration.

The body will treat climate change as a 'given', since the evidence is 'clear and overwhelming', the council says.

Zuhura Plummer, an Extinction Rebellion (XR) activist who will sit on the advisory body, said: "XR Oxford warmly welcomes this as it directly relates to our third demand, and it is a proactive, responsible move.

READ AGAIN: Extinction Rebellion Oxford group speak out after London protests

"We strongly recommend climate breakdown is placed at the forefront of the CA and not only tells residents the truth but also allows them time to think about what they love; be it nature, their grandkids or their garden - and how this is, and will be, greatly affected by the climate and ecological breakdown - now we have a choice as to how quickly we tackle this and improve the outcome for everyone.”

The Assembly will take place on the weekends beginning September 28 and October 19, at the Said Business School - but will only allow 'small number of observers'.

All presentations will be videoed and published, alongside materials shared with participants.

The advisory group members are a range of councillors, professors, business leaders and climate activists. They include Ms Brown; Andrew Gant; Dick Wolff; James Mills; Professor Steve Fisher; Professor Myles Allen; Mark Beard; Mark Gregory; Richard Pantlin; Ms Plummer; Nigel Carter; and Hassan Sabrie.