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Councils pledge their support for the Great Big Green Week and urge residents to get involved

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are backing a national campaign aimed at helping and encouraging residents, communities, and businesses to act to help tackle the climate crisis, and to protect and improve our environment.

Great Big Green Week, from 18 to 26 September, will see events taking place across the country, ranging from art installations, concerts and community stalls, to climate cafes, and everything in between; to help raise awareness and support those looking to take their own climate action.

The week will be a great opportunity for communities to organise events to raise awareness and encourage people to take action ahead of COP26, the United Nations Climate Conference, starting next month. 

Throughout Great Big Green Week, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils will be running an awareness campaign on their social media channels to highlight advice, local support, and projects to help tackle the climate emergency.  The councils are also encouraging local communities to stage their own events during the week and hope that this will lead to continuing, long-lasting and influential climate action across the districts.

There are number of events already set to take place across Oxfordshire, including an eco-business fair in Henley, a seminar on honey bees in Wallingford and a climate crisis talk in Abingdon, with the launch event happening in Broad Street in Oxford on 18 September at 1.30pm.

The eco-business fair will be jointly hosted by the district councils’ South and Vale Business Support team – for more information on this event visit – 

For a full list of events taking place in Oxfordshire, and to find out how to register your own event, visit Oxfordshire’s Great Big Green Week website.  You can also find more about the Great Big Green Week on the national Great Big Green Week website.

Cllr Sue Cooper, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council with responsibility for Climate Change and Nature Recovery, said: “Across the world we are seeing the impacts of extreme weather events caused by climate change, and as a society we must do everything we can to protect both people and our environment for future generations.  As a council we have declared climate and ecological emergencies and put tackling the climate emergency at the heart of our work.

“However, to meet our district-wide carbon neutral target, and to see real and effective change, as well as making individual changes to our lifestyles, we need people to come together in their communities to take action. Great Big Green Week will therefore be a fantastic opportunity to highlight what people can do, and to encourage and support climate action to happen locally.”

Cllr Catherine Webber, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Environment at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “As a council we are absolutely committed to tackling the climate emergency and making the changes necessary to become a carbon neutral council and a carbon neutral district.  However, to really be effective, climate action needs to be taken everywhere by families, businesses, communities, and nations. 

“For many people the scale of the problem, and taking action personally, can be quite daunting, but there are many simple things they can do to take that initial step towards truly meaningful, influential and long-lasting climate action. For instance, they might like to consider researching the tips for reducing their personal carbon footprint, as suggested by Friends of the Earth.”

Further information on the district councils’ climate action priorities

Taking climate action is a priority for both district councils,they both declared a climate emergency and published new Corporate Plans which put tackling the issue at the forefront of their work. 

South Oxfordshire also declared an Ecological Emergency and introduced a Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee (CEEAC) to advise Cabinet on the climate and ecological crises, while the Vale launched its own Climate Emergency Advisory Committee.

Both councils have set targets to become a carbon neutral council by 2025 for South and by 2030 for Vale, and a carbon neutral district by 2030 and 2045 respective. South Oxfordshire has also published updated Air Quality Guidance for Developers.

Both districts are currently working closely with Oxfordshire County Council on a park and charge scheme which aims to install electric vehicle chargers in the district.