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Taking action on the climate crisis

Oxford Friends of the Earth is a thriving and effective local group that has been active for over 40 years. Our purpose is to work together to promote a healthy and sustainable environment

It has never been clearer – we need to act urgently to tackle climate change. That means action by governments, by businesses, by councils and by all of us. We need clear plans and strong solutions.

Oxford Friends of the Earth has been acting on climate change for over a decade. We have organised and run many events, lobbied our MPs and councillors, and worked to build local engagement. We have an active Climate Action working group and we welcome anyone who would like to work with us (email climate@oxfoe.co.uk).   You can sign up to our free monthly mailing here:https://actionnetwork.org/forms/join-the-oxford-friends-of-the-earth-mailing-list

Our current work includes:

  • Our developing work on the UN COP 26 Climate Conference to be held in Glasgow in 2021- it’s all here.
  • Oxfordshire Zero Carbon Homes Initiative – we want to see all new homes built in Oxfordshire to be ‘net zero’ from 2023: https://www.oxfoe.co.uk/oxford-friends-of-the-earth/climate-action/ozchi/
  • ‘In case of emergency…’ is our report on what Oxfordshire councils have done to tackle the climate crisis in the two years since they declared a ‘climate emergency’ – it makes recommendations on what they need to do now. Download it here:   Oxfordshire Councils Climate Action Report
  • Our ‘Fast Forward Oxfordshire’ report that shows how Oxford can change for the better and what needs to happen- published in 2019 – www.oxfoe.co.uk/fastforward/
  • Our Climate Action conference in May 2019 brought together over 130 people. Two presentations are still very relevant:
  • Oxford Together on Climate Change – our new approach to encouraging indivdual action. We’ve got ideas on how you can act on any of six key issues. We’re aiming to get as many people as possible across Oxfordshire making changes in their own lives.
  • Lobbying our councils to deliver real change and lobbying our MPs to push harder for Government action
  • Oxfordshire Climate Action Network – we set this network up to enable better cooperation between groups

What needs to happen?

If we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C we need urgent action to achieve Zero Carbon (Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions) or ‘Carbon Neutrality’ in the UK. The economic costs and benefits of tackling climate change far outweigh the costs of failing to do so.

For starters there are five things the government must do to make the UK carbon neutral:

1. Phase out polluting cars by 2030

2. Generate eight time more renewable electricity than we do at present

3. Shift from natural gas in heating

4. Double tree cover

5. Halve food waste by 2030

For more information read here.

This requires national action across all sectors, with commitment from government, business and society to a radical transformation of the economy. Many cities, towns and counties are setting ‘carbon neutral’ goals. These will also need big changes if they are to deliver on that target but it is not yet clear how those changes will happen, or what the priorities should be for local action.

The push for rapid change is likely to come from civil society – from local people and organisations who understand the need for change. If we are to have the greatest possible impact we need to be well-organised and clear on how we push for change.