Several Oxfordshire Councils have come together to share a video message marking World Environment Day during the coronavirus pandemic.
The leading council members for the environment and climate change at four of Oxfordshire’s councils – Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, and West Oxfordshire District Council – have all shared video messages around the importance of marking World Environment Day during the coronavirus pandemic.
World Environment Day, which first began in 1974, aims to raise awareness of environmental issues, engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens and aims to inspire environmental change.
All Oxfordshire councils have acknowledged and are working to tackle the climate emergency.
“Since lockdown, nationwide we have seen a 31% reduction in greenhouse gas levels across the UK, and here in Oxford we have seen a 65% decrease in air pollution levels in the city centre. Of course we never would have wanted to go in to the lockdown in order to have these rare gains, but as we emerge from the lockdown we want to ensure that we build back better and we will be working with other councils to ensure we do just that.”
Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader, and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, at Oxford City Council
“The coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to reflect on the work that has been done and that can be done in the future. Despite the challenges posed by coronavirus I want to assure residents that as a council we remain committed to the environment for you and of course for generations to come.”
Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment, at Oxfordshire County Council
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused most people to adjust their lives and there will be a large amount of data for use to consider, including the effects of traffic reduction on our air quality. It is great to be involved in something as dynamic as this on World Environment Day.”
Councillor David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Climate Change at West Oxfordshire Council
“This World Environment Day, we’re at a turning point in history, a real fork in the road. We can either strive to return to our old way of life, or we can forge a new green future. We’ve all shown that we’re prepared to make changes, in an emergency. In this emergency the changes we need are better homes, easier transport, green electricity, healthier living - a small price to pay to save our only planet.”
Councillor David Grant, Chair of the Vale of White Horse District Council Climate Emergency Advisory Committee
The video messages will be shared on the Oxfordshire council’s social media channels on Friday 5 June.