OXFORD City Council has revealed its £19 million plan to respond to the recommendations made by this summer’s Citizens Assembly on Climate Change.

As well as helping fund some 400 new electric vehicle charging points around the city, the council will also be ‘supporting and incentivising’ private taxi firms to go green.

All city council housing will be reviewed, old-fashioned inefficient equipment torn out and new eco-friendly upgrades made.

Community buildings will be similarly ‘retrofitted’ and all new-build homes will be required to meet higher standards.

The city’s bus companies have now agreed that all buses within the city will be capable of operating with zero emissions – either hybrid or electric – by 2035, but the city council will also actively lobby the Government to bring the end of the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

The plans are all based on the recommendations of the 42 citizens assembly members who sat through two weekends of expert talks in September and October so they could suggest what actions Oxford City Council could take to help reduce the city’s climate impact.

The investment will be made up of £1 million of operational funding, and £18 million in capital investment.

In addition to the £19 million promised, the city council will also commit to reach net zero emissions in 2020, and plans to hold a Zero Carbon Oxford Summit in the new year where organisations responsible for large amounts of pollution will be invited, to try to lower the city's carbon output.

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The proposals in the new climate emergency budget include raising the energy efficiency of new homes and community buildings, cutting transport emissions, boosting renewable energy, expanding biodiversity and increasing public engagement with recycling.

Councillor Tom Hayes said: “The measures we are proposing are bold and significant in the context of the City Council’s budget and reach.

“We are setting a new course, taking the city towards zero carbon, while ensuring this does not sacrifice residents’ living standards or disadvantage low income households.”

Oxford City Council was the first local authority in the UK to call a Citizen’s Assembly.

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Earlier this year, market research company Ipsos MORI was commissioned to recruit 50 Oxford residents as representatives to learn about climate change and explore different options on how to cut carbon emissions.

During September and October they gathered to consider new carbon targets and additional measures to reduce emissions, which they released in a summary report in November.

The key proposal - backed by almost all members of the assembly, who felt that rapid action is required - was that Oxford should achieve net zero emissions sooner than 2050.

In mid-2019 the UK government agreed to cut emissions to net zero by 2050, as previous targets only amounted to 80 percent reduction in that time.

While the city council is still unsure what its new commitment will be, it addressed other recommendations from the report.

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As the largest proportion of emissions in Oxford comes from buildings, the authority will move towards a zero carbon system in council buildings and housing, new homes, community and commercial buildings and the private rented sector.

Another major polluter is the transport sector.

Changes proposed will include supporting electric vehicle take-up and charging infrastructure, supporting electric buses and taxis, lobbying for a vehicle standards and scrappage scheme, and investment in cycling.

Progress in reaching net zero carbon emissions will be measured at five-yearly intervals.

The authority has also said every aspect of the council’s work will be approached with the climate emergency in mind in the future.