Council notes that:
a) the recent 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that
we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept
within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius;
b) all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts
on climate breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their
national governments to change their policies. UK county, district and city councils need to
commit to aggressive reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;
c) districts are well placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as their
responsibility for planning policies opens up a range of sustainable transport, buildings and
d) Council has already shown foresight when it comes to addressing the issue of Climate
Change, having signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in 2007. Between
2008 and 2013, this council collaborated with the Carbon Trust, to produce a Carbon
Management Plan which set out how the council planned to reduce energy and fuel use
in its own buildings and vehicles. All of this has led to a 28% drop in greenhouse gas
emissions up to 2018;
e) notes that work has commenced on a review of the council’s Carbon Management Plan
in collaboration with the Oxfordshire Energy Strategy, with the aim of bringing a report to
Cabinet as soon as possible, and no later than Autumn 2019, the review to come forward
to include the feasibility of adopting an early carbon neutral target for South Oxfordshire.
In light of the above, the Council therefore agrees to:
1. Join other councils in declaring a Climate Emergency.
2. Ask the leader to write to the Secretary of State to seek confirmation of the
Government’s intention to work with local government on climate change strategies.
3. Ask that as officers, as per the council’s policies, are currently reviewing policy and
strategies, that specific consideration be given to how policies, and our related decisions
and actions, affect our contribution to climate change, and where necessary, update these
policies to reduce our impact wherever possible. As far as possible, the reporting
templates for Council, Cabinet and committees to be amended to include an
‘Environmental Impact’ section.
4. Ask officers to provide the cost and availability of the most appropriate training options
for members and officers about how to promote carbon neutral policies for future
consideration by Cabinet.
5. Request the Cabinet member for environment to bring to council a report on the
activities of the Oxfordshire Environmental Partnership, of which South Oxfordshire is a
6. Continue the positive collaborative work with partners across the district, county and
wider region to deliver widespread carbon reductions.
Council notes that: