Efforts to mitigate climate change in Oxfordshire are set to increase over the next three years as the county aims for a net zero carbon future.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet has approved plans which could see its own corporate carbon emissions halved by 2024/25.

The authority produced 10,774 tonnes of CO2 in 2020/21, but measures outlined in its carbon management plan could see this cut to 6,000 tonnes within three years.

Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “I’m delighted at the dedication and skill of our small climate team and how far we’ve come in a year.

“As an organisation, we’re continuing as an exemplar in reducing our own direct emissions.

“But now we’re also driving forward to decarbonise our supply chains and taking a lead on work with partners and other organisation to extend this work across the whole of Oxfordshire.”

Cabinet also approved the climate action programme delivery plan for 2022/23.

An initiative aimed at decarbonising the authority’s estate and operations by 2030, and transitioning Oxfordshire as a county to net zero ahead of the national target of 2050.

Measures include increasing active travel, improving electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, supporting households in fuel poverty to increase energy efficiency and reduce bills, and encouraging behavioural change among businesses and residents.

The plan also addresses how the county will adapt to extreme weather events, improve biodiversity and develop a nature recovery strategy.

Perhaps the main project to cut emissions is the conversion of Oxfordshire’s streetlights to low-energy LED lighting.

Almost half have been changed so far as part of a £40 million initiative which will save council taxpayers £77m over a 20-year period.

Other ways that the council is helping Oxfordshire become net zero include bringing 159 electric buses to the county and trialling hydrogen technology to power fire engines.

Additionally, they will be installing EV charging points in council car parks for residents without off-road parking.

A zero emissions zone will also be piloted in Oxford city centre.

Mr Sudbury added: “The climate change committee’s recent risk assessment tells us that we need to move with alacrity to protect our citizens, organisations and businesses from the dangerous and accelerating impacts of climate change in our own country.

“And from its global effects as they impact on us and the supply chains we rely on for our basic needs.

“That will be our priority for the next year, and we will be looking to involve as many individuals, groups and organisations as we can in this critical task.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1


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