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Committee to tackle the climate emergency to meet for the first time

A new council committee in South Oxfordshire that will help tackle the climate emergency is due to meet for the first time in September.

At its July meeting, South Oxfordshire District Council agreed unanimously to establish the specialist committee to advise the council on how it can tackle local issues affected by the climate emergency.

The new Climate Emergency Advisory Committee will be working to ensure the council meets its responsibilities to respond to the climate emergency that the Council declared at a meeting in April 2019.

The committee is a politically balanced group of 12 councillors and will meet in public to advise the council’s Cabinet on matters relating to the climate emergency.

This new committee will make recommendations on how the council can reduce damage to the global and local environment through its policies and practices. It would also aim to work with and advise and influence partner organisations.

The committee will research ways in which the council can contribute to national and countywide targets on climate and energy issues and identify sources of external funding relating to the climate emergency.

Cllr Sue Cooper, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Having declared a Climate Emergency, this was the next step. The committee will try to find ways that council services across South Oxfordshire can contribute to carbon reduction targets and minimise the damage to our environment.”

Cllr Sue Roberts, Chair of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, said: “I am pleased to be working in a committee that represents all political groups on the council. We need a united front to face a challenge of this magnitude. The committee is supported by dedicated staff and will cut across all areas of the council’s operation and influence. I have started work with officers, sketching out a brief to take to the committee and officers are developing a work programme. I would like to see us working towards targets for a zero-carbon council and a zero-carbon district.”

The first meeting has been scheduled for Thursday 19 September at Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot, starting at 6pm.  The agenda will be published on the council’s website on Wednesday 11 September.  Members of the public are welcome to attend and can speak at the meeting about any of the items on the agenda by registering in advance.

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