AN OXFORD University research professor has been appointed as the city’s first ever chief scientist as part of the local council’s bid to tackle climate change.

Professor Nick Eyre, a senior research fellow in energy at the Environmental Change Institute, has been appointed as the official scientific advisor to the city council.

Prof Eyre’s new voluntary and unpaid role will see him giving independent advice to the council, including at meetings, on decisions about the climate crisis.

The scientific advisor said: “The transition to making Oxford a zero-carbon city will be a challenge, but it is achievable, and the work to do it has already begun. I look forward to ensuring that the Council has access to best advice from the city’s two universities as it continues sets out on this path.”

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The announcement of the professor’s appointment comes almost a year on from the Oxford Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, which saw 42 people from across the city take part in discussions about how the city should change to prevent fossil fuel emissions.

Prof Eyre, a fellow of Oriel College, also took part in the assembly as one of the experts giving short lectures on the challenges of climate change.

The expert’s career has seen him work as a researcher, consultant and manager on energy and environmental issues since 1984.

His appointment was agreed by all the council's political groups.

Tom Hayes. the council's Labour deputy leader said: "As chief scientist, Professor Eyre will strengthen this council’s evidence-based decision-making by bringing the scientific community and independent advice into our democratically elected council.

"Having worked with our new chief scientist on the Oxford Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, and other business, I have seen first-hand his love for Oxford and his deep commitment to ensuring the city uses science effectively. "

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Lib Dem councillor Tom Landell Mills said: "Nick Eyre is well qualified to provide the city council with scientific advice on tackling climate change and more specifically advising on the city’s low carbon plans. Well informed, independent advice will be an asset to the city and we look forward to working with Nick."

And Green group leader Craig Simmons said: “I have known Nick for many years and interviewed him for this appointment. As an environmental professional myself, I can vouch for Professor Eyre’s eminence in the field of climate science."

He added: "But it has to be said that most of what needs to be done to reduce Oxford’s carbon footprint is already known. The council just needs to stop prevaricating and act.”