Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change

Key information

Dates

The Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change will be held over two full weekends (28-29 September 2019 and 19- 20 October 2019) at the Said Business School. 

Topic

The Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change will consider:

The UK Government has legislation to reach ‘net zero’ carbon by 2050.  Should Oxford be more proactive and seek to achieve ’net zero’ sooner than 2050 and what trade-offs are we prepared to make?

Themes

The Citizens Assembly will address three themes, divided into five separate areas of content. 

  • How do we use less energy?
    1. Buildings – how do we ensure our buildings are fit for the future?
    2. Transport – how do we develop a sustainable zero-carbon transport system?
  • How do we make more energy?
    1. How do we transform our energy system to ensure it comes from renewable sources?
  • How do we improve environmental quality on the journey to net zero?
    1. Waste – How do we reduce our waste to deliver net zero?
    2. Offsetting – How could Oxford offset the emissions it can’t reduce?

The issue of biodiversity will be considered within each of these subject areas.

Schedule

Participants in the Assembly will hear from a series of expert speakers who will provide an overview of the issue of climate change resulting from human activities, the expected impacts of global heating and the actions required to limit the further release greenhouse gases.  

Panels will bring together speakers with different views and perspectives on each subject area.

Weekend one - View weekend one schedule here

During the first weekend, a series of speakers will provide a scene-setting overview of the issue, what happens if we don’t act, and what it takes to get to net zero emissions. The remainder of the first weekend will examine each theme and subject area in turn, including consideration of the associated key challenges and trade-offs.

Weekend two

The second weekend will involve participants’ discussion and deliberation of each subject area and the introduction of specific questions around particular trade-offs. The questions will span areas that the Council has direct control, where it can work in partnership with other statutory bodies, and where it can influence others.

Participants 

In line with best practice, 50 Assembly participants were recruited through a stratified random process, creating a ‘mini-public’ broadly representative of the demographics of the city’s population.

Residents were not able to apply to become an Assembly member, but as the Oxford’s postcode address file was used for selection, all local residents had the potential to be invited to participate. The size of the Assembly enables citizens with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to come together in detailed discussion on a common issue.

To ensure we had a genuinely representative a sample of Oxford’s population a range of selection criteria were applied, including gender, age, ethnicity, disability and area of the city. Additional data on participants was also monitored, including socio-economic group, employment status, educational attainment and political viewpoint – but this was not used to select or deny participation.

The 2011 Census was used to draw up the target quota for the Citizen Assembly.

In line with good practice in encouraging full participation, participants will each be paid a £300 honorarium, recognising the time they are giving up to take part and ensuring that a diverse range of people - including those on low-incomes or with caring responsibilities etc. can take part

View demographic breakdown of participants here

Report

A final report on the findings of the Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change will be produced by Ipsos MORI. The report will be formally presented to Oxford City Council with recommendations to be considered for adoption and it will inform a new City Council’s Sustainability Strategy, which will reflect new measures and carbon emissions reduction targets.