Final preparations underway for the Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change

Published: Tuesday, 24th September 2019

With the closing of the 2019 UN Climate Summit in New York, Oxford is making final preparations for its Citizens Assembly as the first UK city to hold a Citizens Assembly on Climate Change.

The first weekend of the Oxford Citizens Assembly for Climate Change will be taking place this weekend (28-29 September 2019) at the Said Business School, with the second weekend taking place on 19- 20 October 2019.

During these weekends a randomly selected, representative group of 50 Oxford residents will learn about climate change and explore, discuss and vote on different options to cut carbon emissions in the city.

A pre-briefing pack has been sent to Assembly participants, outlining key areas for response to the climate emergency and setting out how the Assembly will consider these topics. The City Council is publishing the pre-briefing materials to enable the wider public to engage in discussion on these important issues. The materials can be found on the City Council website here.

The Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change will discuss the overall topic: 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?

Expert speakers & panellists will speak to the participants at the Assembly on the five topics: buildings, transport, the role for renewables, offsetting and biodiversity, and how to reduce waste. Participants will then be asked to consider the trade-offs associated, including cost.

The Citizens Assembly is by invitation only and is not open to the public. However, all of the speaker presentations will be filmed and broadcast through the council’s social media and all materials will be uploaded to the Citizens Assembly web page.

“We have seen the discussions and debates from world leaders that have been taking place at the UN Climate Summit in New York, and we have heard their commitments to tackle climate change. Greta Thunberg powerfully warned UN leaders that the eyes of all futures generations are upon them.

“Here in Oxford we are in the final stages of preparations for the Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change and are looking forward to hearing from our residents. As the leaders in the city of Oxford, with the ability to drive change through our levers of control, influence and partnership, we will be listening to the views of our citizens at our Citizens Assembly, and we will be taking action.”  
Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford