Report and next steps
A detailed report on the findings of the Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change, the first of its kind in the UK, has been published.
The report, which has been produced by experts at Ipsos MORI who independently facilitated the Citizens Assembly on behalf of the City Council, summarises its findings and recommendations.
Ipsos MORI’s headline findings were:
- The majority of Assembly members felt that Oxford should aim to achieve ‘net zero’ sooner than 2050. However, even among those who agreed with this, there was little consensus on when ‘net zero’ should be achieved
- There was widespread belief that Oxford should be a leader in tackling the climate crisis
- Assembly Members found a great deal of encouragement in the examples of what is already being done across Oxford to address climate change and meet the goal of becoming ‘net zero’
- Enhanced biodiversity was central to the overall ‘net zero’ vision of Oxford with increased flora and fauna in the city centre, along with more cycling, walking, and public transport, and far fewer cars
- The buildings sector should adopt improved building standards, widespread retrofitting, and more domestic and non-domestic energy needs being met by sustainable sources
- Around one in four to one in three Assembly Members rejected the most ambitious - and, therefore, challenging to achieve - visions of a future Oxford
- They were also perturbed by the extent to which the burden of change was - in their eyes - being placed on individuals
- There was, therefore, a sense that the Council needs to communicate a shared vision and strategy to reaching ‘net zero’ that shows the roles played by local and national government, businesses, and individuals
- Specifically, Assembly Members wanted more information about how to recycle correctly
- There was a demand for more education and information provided for the wider public in Oxford to help them understand what they can personally do to help
What happens next?
A report, containing Oxford City Council’s initial response to the Assembly’s recommendations, will be presented to the Cabinet on 19 December. This report will include the City Council’s proposals, which will feed into the 2020/21 budget, to respond to immediate issues arising from the report.
In the New Year, the findings will feed in to the City Council’s upcoming Sustainability Strategy, including an Action Plan to determine how the City Council can play its part in tackling the climate emergency over the coming months and years.
As recommended by the Assembly, City Council will also look at its role in convening and engaging stakeholders and the wider public to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One clear request from the Assembly was to produce educational material and information about how individuals can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the City Council will now work up detailed plans to achieve this.