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Council adopts plan to become carbon neutral by 2030

West Oxfordshire District Council has strengthened its commitment to combatting climate change by releasing a plan aimed at achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.   

Cllr Andrew Prosser, Executive Member for Climate Change, said:

“In response to the climate and ecological emergency we are facing, we have updated our plan to minimise the carbon footprint from the Council's activities, and to help create a healthier and more sustainable environment for residents.  

“We're focused on making practical changes that will benefit everyone, with a particular focus on making our buildings, vehicles, and waste services more energy efficient.   

"The work we are doing is not just about reducing carbon emissions; it's about improving the health and well-being of our residents whilst safeguarding our planet for future generations."  

To become carbon neutral, the Council must balance its carbon dioxide emissions with the amount it removes from the atmosphere.  

The commitment to reaching carbon neutrality by 2030 was established in 2019 when the Council declared a climate and ecological emergency. Subsequently, the Carbon Action Plan was adopted in 2020, setting out actions to reduce emissions from the Council’s activities, buildings, and services.  

It identifies areas where significant change can be made and outlines 10 priority actions across various sectors such as prevention, buildings, water, waste, transport, procurement, as well as supporting external projects, such as woodland or meadow restoration, to remove and store carbon from the atmosphere, or integrating improvements into initiatives that reduce emissions from its suppliers and contractors.  

Following the Energy Hierarchy, the Plan focuses on cutting energy use, improving efficiency, switching to low carbon heating systems, and installing on-site renewable energy. Any remaining emissions after this process will be offset or inset through other projects.   

Cutting carbon emissions is not only important in tackling climate change but will also bring extra benefits such as saving money through improved energy efficiency and reducing the strain on water resources.  

The Council has already taken significant steps towards achieving carbon neutrality, including securing funding for the decarbonisation of Windrush Leisure Centre, making council offices smaller and more energy-efficient, working on a transition plan to make its waste fleet greener, achieving a bronze award for carbon literacy, and piloting a Climate Impact Assessment Tool so that climate is considered in Council decision-making.  

Despite representing just 0.5 % of the district's total carbon emissions, the Council is committed to leading by example and supporting broader efforts to reduce carbon levels across the district, as outlined in the West Oxfordshire Climate Change Strategy 2021-2025. 

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team

[email protected]