Agenda item

Agenda item

COP26 (proposer Cllr Dunne, seconder Cllr Mundy)

Labour Group member motion

This Council notes that:

  • The global scientific consensus is that humans have caused an unprecedented increase in global temperatures, and we are heading towards mass extinction of entire ecosystems if we do not change our actions today [1].
  • We have witnessed rising temperatures, floods, wildfires, and other extreme weather events happening more frequently around the world. Insects, animals, and natural habitats have been in decline because of the crisis we are in.
  • The climate crisis is not just an environmental issue but is a social justice issue as the people who are least responsible for the crisis in the global south are the same people who will be hit hardest by its impacts.
  • The main causes of the climate crisis are increased emissions from the fossil fuel sector, the agriculture sector and the waste sector which highlights the need for stronger mitigation in all these areas [2].
  • The UK’s agricultural land use and practices are a central driver for habitat and biodiversity loss, making this one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries [3]. In the UK, we also eat more than twice the global average of meat and dairy products which is a huge contributor to global warming.
  • The UK will soon be hosting COP26. The current government has not done enough to address the climate crisis and must do more immediately, particularly around agriculture which so often gets overlooked in climate change discussions.
  • In January 2019, Oxford City Council declared a climate emergency and have been taking steps since to help prevent climate catastrophe, but more must be done locally, and we will need more powers and funding from national government as well.
  • The necessary change to confront the climate crisis needs to tackle existing inequalities and to be democratic, led from the community with workshops, more citizen assemblies and youth summits.
  • Zero carbon citizens and more importantly zero carbon institutions and businesses in the city are essential to decarbonising Oxford. Climate action from the city needs to be equitable based on contribution to the crisis (e.g., challenging large businesses and institutions in the city who are contributing the most to the crisis [4]).

This Council agrees to: 

  • Look within the City Council operations to see where more work can be done to divest from fossil fuels such as
    • the transport of goods from around the world to Oxford,
    • local government pension fund investments
  • Publicly call out institutions and businesses who continue to participate in fossil fuel activity, plastic waste, and unsustainable farming, including through associated partnerships such as pensions and suppliers.
  • Ask the relevant Cabinet Member to work with officers to set-up working groups in the council to collaborate with existing community groups, climate activists and co-operatives to establish a revolutionary and systemic approach to reducing carbon emissions in the city.
  • Ask the Leader to write to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to provide funding to local governments for the nine concrete, radical changes of the Green New Deal to our current economic, social, and political model [5].











This motion was not taken as the time allocated for debate had finished.