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Our route to carbon neutral

We have made a commitment to becoming carbon-neutral by 2030. It is a leading priority within our framework for Climate Action in West Oxfordshire. We will set an example of good practice and hope to influence partners and stakeholders by implementing raised standards and sharing the lessons learned.

Carbon Action plan

On 28 October 2020 we agreed a Carbon Action Plan for West Oxfordshire which sets out how we will become carbon neutral. The Plan:

  • presents a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions account as a baseline and measure of our current impact on climate change. So we can measure the success of actions taken to reduce and remove emissions
  • defines a set of Guiding Principles for planning all future research and projects implemented by us towards our target
  • identifies a Pathway and Priorities for Action as the trajectory for achieving carbon neutral
  • sets out a process for the monitoring and review of action in progress and new action planned. This helps the Plan remain live and responsive to external influences, technological changes and innovation within the low-carbon and renewable energy sector
  • leads by example, establishing an assessment methodology and set of Guiding Principles that partners working across the District may apply to their own projects

Greenhouse gas emissions reports

As outlined in the Carbon Action Plan above, we report on the greenhouse gas emissions from council activities on an annual basis. These reports summarise the sources of council emissions by scope and by location, and progress made towards our target of being carbon neutral by 2030. The baseline year is April 2019 to March 2020.

Impact Assessment Tool

Every Cabinet, Council or Committee report includes climate implications as part of the standard template. The Council is currently trialling an Impact Assessment Tool, which means that the wider climate, sustainability and social value implications of decision making are taken into account. The tool will guide the development of projects, policies etc. by ensuring matters such as greenhouse gases and carbon emissions, sustainable transport and opportunities for ecological enhancement and sustainable food production are taken into account. This should stimulate thinking and in some cases lead to improvements in what or how something is done. Reports will then include the assessment produced by the tool to inform decisions.