For action: To receive a report from City Science on the Oxfordshire Net Zero Route Map and Action Plan.
The Partnership considered a report and attached Net Zero Route Map and Action Plan which set out:
· The emission reductions necessary to achieve net zero by 2050
· The key milestones in 2025, 2030 and 2040.
· Carbon budgets of maximum emissions that could be emitted to maintain this pathway (including the provision of data at a scale available to districts)
· Key Performance Indicators to track progress
· Recommended areas for Partnership members to work on jointly to accelerate action.
The report, route map and action plan was presented by Suzanne Malcolm, Deputy Chief Executive for Place, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils and Senior Responsible Officer for the Environment Advisory Group and Sarah Gilbert, Head of Climate, Oxfordshire County Council. A presentation was given setting out the main points of the action plan and route map here.
Councillor David Rouane as Chair of the Environment Advisory Group thanked the members of the group for their input into the development of the Route Map and Action Plan. He stressed that it was about tackling priority actions given the breadth of what could be done to tackle climate change, particularly if areas such as Scope Three emissions were included as suggested by the Scrutiny Panel. It was important not to be distracted by areas where as individual organisations and as a group, the Partnership did not have a direct impact. Rather the proposed actions were framed with a focus of maximum impact as quickly as possible. Councillor Liz Leffman agreed with these sentiments, commenting that from the list of actions there was a limit to what councils and partners could do, but more could be achieved through partnership and this would be very important.
Councillor Leffman referred to the question of green finance which had been allocated within the document to the Environment Advisory Group and suggested that this should also be considered by the Infrastructure Advisory Group as there were a number of infrastructure projects that would require finance in the future and it was important to considered how that might be achieved. Councillor Leffman commented that this should be added to the Infrastructure Advisory Group’s forward plan.
Councillor Bethia Thomas welcomed the Plan, noting the comment of officers in that it was felt to be one of the most ambitious and comprehensive such plans put together on behalf of local authorities. She commented that she hoped that comments made by the public speakers would be taken into account and questions regarding stakeholder and consultation as the route map and action plan remained in the early stages.
Councllor Brown referred to the mapping of all the work already underway and the importance of avoiding duplications. As Chair of Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership, (ZCOP) she was happy to share details of its workstreams so there could be shared learning. She commented that on attending the launch of the Project LEO report was the degree to which a lot of the required actions concerning local area energy planning could only be delivered locally, even at a street by street level. Overall learning could be shared widely, but some of the work had to be done at extremely local level. Therefore, it was important to get the balance right, with local engagement to determine what would work for particular streets, neighbourhoods and the high level negotiating with energy suppliers etc.
Angus Horner, OxLEP Business representative for the Science Vale also paid tribute to the level of detail within the report. His observation was that a budget for communications was required to maintain a constant rhythm of information flow. With regard to some of the existing climate action themed web portals he suggested that they could present concise and clear information tailored towards non-expert readers setting out the scale of the required challenge and the quantum of expected investment required. He referred to the example of the need for private sector investment in retrofitting homes and transport and the need for residents to understand the need and advantages to be gained by working together within groups. It was suggested that if a review of previous investments were undertaken the conclusions would be difficult.
Susan Harbour, Partnerships Manager at South and Vale Councils responded that the Partnership did have a Communications Officer who was looking at website communications and procuring new websites including for the Local Nature Partnership and Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership.
RESOLVED: That the Future Oxfordshire Partnership
1. Note the report and attached Net Zero Route Map and Action Plan
2. Review and endorse the proposed joint actions and recommended prioritisation to form a programme of work reporting to the Partnership.
3. Review the governance and reporting proposals set out in the report and suggest any proposed changes as required.