Only the Green Party is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of all of Oxford and setting an example on other environmental matters.
Countless city council actions concerning tackling climate change can be traced back to calls from Greens. The city council has reduced its own carbon footprint by more than 20 %, but much of this has been because the authority is selling off buildings.
Unfortunately, greenhouse gas emissions are now rising once again. It will take real commitment to make the actual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which are necessary. Recent years have shown the local impact of climate change with, for example, more frequent flooding.
The council must take a lead in persuading the private sector and local public sector bodies to improve energy conservation and use of microgeneration – reducing their costs in the process. The council has a responsibility to tackle climate change and local actions play a vital role. Only the Greens have the drive to push ahead with changes that are needed.
- Established a Climate Change officer team to improve City Council performance in cutting its greenhouse gas emissions and provided the expertise to win awards.
- Introduced and supported a large array of Green initiatives in East Oxford including the Car Club, solar panels on Manzil Way, the Farmers’ Market and many other low carbon projects.
- Worked to establish low carbon community groups throughout Oxford to stimulate community involvement in local initiatives.
The Green Party will:
- Reverse cuts to the city’s environmental budget.
- Introduce a city-wide scheme offering free wall and loft insulation for all tenants.
- Build new affordable ‘green homes' on vacant industrial sites and above car parks - not on sensitive ‘green field’ sites or flood plains. It is possible to retain desired car parking at ground level whilst providing apartments above such parking, maximising the utility of the space.
- Improve enforcement of building regulations to raise environmental standards, deliver fuel savings by insulation schemes and other energy saving measures such as boiler replacement.
- Insist on the implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment and traffic impact assessment on all new building.
- Propose policies to tackle the risk of flooding in Oxford not only within the City but also around the northern tributaries to the Thames.
- Invest in renewable energy systems on Council buildings and on Council owned land (see appendix).