Published: Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Oxford City Council is marking Earth Day 2020 during the coronavirus outbreak.

The theme of Earth Day 2020 – an annual environmental event created first established in 1970 - is climate action. 

In January last year, Oxford City Council unanimously declared a climate emergency in Oxford and agreed to create a Citizens’ Assembly to consider new carbon targets and additional measures to reduce emissions.

In the April, the Council set a vision to reduce its own emissions to net zero by 2030 at the latest - sooner than the Government’s deadline of 2050. Last Autumn, Oxford held the Oxford Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change - which made a number of recommendations. In response the City Council outlined a climate emergency programme to address the climate emergency.

The programme aims to address the key sources which are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in Oxford, of which the City Council accounts for approximately 1% of total emissions.

The programme covers:

  • Buildings
  • Transport
  • Biodiversity
  • Offsetting
  • Recycling and Waste
  • Renewable Energy

Projects included in the City Council’s approach to climate action with partners include the Oxford Zero Emission Zone, Energy Superhub Oxford project, and Connecting Oxford.

“Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and for 50 years our communities around the world have been celebrating this important day. A day to raise awareness of the importance of forging a fairer future, and healing our planet. We can’t all join together within our communities to celebrate this important day because we are responding to the coronavirus crisis, but there is strength, energy, and momentum growing within our communities as we are addressing both the climate emergency, and the coronavirus crisis.

“We will bring in the Oxford Zero Emission Zone, take forward the recommendations of the Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change, and continue to reduce our own emissions. I look forward to joining all our communities once the lockdown is over and continuing the work we have started.”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford

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