OXFORD City Council will form an independent advisory group to 'provide governance and oversight' of the forthcoming citizens assembly to address climate change.

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Last month the Council announced it would form the country's first such body and that it would meet in September.

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It says the assembly will be tasked with 'assisting the Council in its final decisions around the promotion and adoption of carbon abatement measures and targets for Oxford and the council'.

The advisory group will include a councillor from each of the main political parties on the Council, as well as a representative of the Conservative Party, alongside Oxford-based environment and democracy experts and representatives from local industry. Council leader Susan Brown will chair the body.

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Council chief executive Gordon Mitchell said: “We want to forge a path that others can follow with confidence and the creation of an advisory panel including independent members will help strengthen the governance around our approach.”

In January, the Council declared a climate emergency, in the city, with Parliament following suit nationwide late last month.

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On Monday the council said it was aiming at a vision of zero carbon by 2030, before publishing new data suggesting that carbon emissions in the city have fallen by 24 per cent between 2013 and 2016.

It is estimated that the City Council itself is directly responsible for just one per cent of total CO2 emissions within Oxford.

As the recipient of recommendations from the citizens assembly, Councillor Tom Hayes, Board Member for Safer, Greener, Environment will not be a member of the Advisory Group meetings, but will attend meetings.

He said: "We’re setting up an advisory group to help make the Citizens Assembly a success, and I am keen that this should be an independent, cross-party, non-party political process.

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"The public expects all parties to work together, especially on tackling climate change, so all parties in the City Council will be able to have a say in how the country’s first Citizens Assembly to deal with climate change is formulated."

He continued: "In a time of broken politics at a national level, we need to show what cities and councils can do at a local level to improve the lives of their residents. We have a chance to make a success of a new form of democratic engagement and forge a path to consensus on climate change."