A joint statement from the leaders of the Greens (Cllr Craig Simmons) and Liberal Democrats (Cllr Andrew Gant):
"This Zero Carbon 2040 Action Plan simply doesn't exist at the present time. It was mentioned as being in preparation at a Council meeting on 10th March but it has not appeared on any Council agenda, not been scrutinised by Councillors, nor been seen or approved by any Council Committee. When we asked for a copy today after the press release went out, we were told that it 'isn’t quite there'. This is policy-setting by press release. The Council have been slow to respond to the declaration of a Climate Emergency (which occurred in January 2019) and are rushing something out before the elections."
An unseemly rush by Oxford City Council to publish a last minute policy document [the day before election purdah] that has not gone through any Council Committees and which allegedly 'bring[s] about a Zero Carbon Oxford by 2040 or earlier' is "nothing of the sort" say Greens.
Say Green Group Leader Cllr Craig Simmons, a leading sustainability expert in his own right; "More than two years have passed by since Oxford declared a climate and ecological emergency in January 2019, and it has taken the Labour-run Council until now to botch together some plan which purports to deliver 'a Zero Carbon Oxford by 2040 or earlier' but does nothing of the sort. It is simply a list of existing policies. There is nothing new and nothing to indicate that these measures are sufficient to deliver a 'zero carbon' Oxford. For example, the report admits that the City has just 1.6% of the necessary renewable energy capacity (8.6MW out of 547.8MW installed capacity) yet there is no explanation of how this gap will be bridged."