Updates to council’s net zero commitments

A series of fresh carbon-cutting actions has been given the green light by councillors.

Published: Tuesday, 7th November 2023

At a meeting of Cherwell District Council’s executive on Monday 6 November, councillors approved the new 12-month climate change action plan. Building on the council’s significant progress on this issue to date, this fresh plan sets in motion seven key goals for the council itself and a further eleven goals for the wider district.

The measures include reducing emissions from the council’s buildings, vehicles, and procurement to net zero by 2030.

Councillor Andrew McHugh, Portfolio Holder for Cleaner and Greener Communities, said: “This action plan has been produced by officers working together with the cross-party climate change working group and is a testament to what can be achieved when we work together in a spirit of cooperation.

“We are proud of our track record supporting environmental sustainability. We’ve taken major steps so far, including the decarbonisation of our leisure centres and the adoption of electric vehicles.

“This Plan is another step towards our goal of becoming a net zero council by 2030. It focuses primarily on the emissions within our direct influence, including our fleet, our estate, our activities and our staff. But emissions caused within our wider supply chain are also in scope, and we will be doing further work to understand this better.

“This is an ambitious plan that sets us on the path to becoming a climate leader, and I look forward to now seeing it becoming embedded in the organisation and our operations.”

The action plan has been reviewed by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee, its climate change working group, and its external consultant Bioregional, where expert advisors have helped identify the priority areas where the council should focus its efforts.

To reduce the council’s emissions, detailed actions include measures to increase the use of electric vehicles, phasing out gas heaters and applying for government funding to further decarbonise council-owned buildings.

To help reduce emissions across the district more widely, measures include supporting the countywide local nature recovery strategy, supporting local communities to protect and enhance natural habitats, and helping residents increase the energy efficiency of their homes.

The council’s ambition to increase the take-up of electric vehicles will be supported by over £5m of monies from the government’s Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure fund, which has been allocated to Oxfordshire County Council.

This will fund charging infrastructure across Oxfordshire, particularly in areas where residents don’t have access to off-street parking and in rural areas.

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