Council leader urges action as COP26 is set to open in Glasgow

Oxfordshire County Council leader Councillor Liz Leffman has urged world leaders to grasp the opportunity to tackle climate change that the forthcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow represents.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place between 31 October and 12 November in Scotland.

Councillor Liz Leffman, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “COP26 is a chance for the world to come together to tackle the biggest single threat facing the planet. The fight against climate change is at the heart of everything we are doing as a council. Every decision we take weighs up the impact on carbon emissions and our work is underpinned by our commitment to become a zero carbon county council by 2030 and enable the whole of Oxfordshire to be carbon neutral by 2050 – if not sooner.

“Here at the county council we have pledged to become a climate-active council, with all staff playing their part and acting as ambassadors for climate action with partners and all decisions considering carbon impacts. We are embedding the relevant skills and culture across the organisation.

“We will support Oxfordshire’s schools in every way we can as they strive to meet their own climate-action targets. Meanwhile we spend more than £500m a year with suppliers in delivering critical services to residents and we will work closely with these organisations to help them play their part in Oxfordshire becoming a high-potential low-carbon economy.

“By working together we can create a resilient circular economy that eliminates waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use and regenerates natural systems. It is an exciting challenge to embrace.

“We have a COP26 section on our website for people to visit to see what is happening to tackle climate change locally, including increasing park and charge infrastructure for electric vehicles and installing greener LED streetlighting among many other initiatives.

“We will soon be consulting on a local transport blueprint for coming years that encourages ‘active travel’ into our daily lives – with cycling, walking and public transport invested in and given priority over car-travel.

“From making homes more energy efficient, to working with partners on revolutionising the county’s energy system, climate action is our number one priority. We hope the world’s leaders appreciate the worldwide appetite for action and will work towards a brighter and greener future before it’s too late.”