Climate action and ecological initiatives are to be embedded in all of South Oxfordshire District Council’s work, as part of the ‘ecological emergency’ that has been declared by the council.
The declaration reflects the council’s commitment to protect and restore the natural world, a key priority set out in the South Oxfordshire Corporate Plan.
This builds on the council’s declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, which was followed by a pledge to become a carbon neutral council by 2025 and a carbon neutral district by 2030.
It also calls for the council to incorporate climate and ecological emergencies and nature recovery as strategic priorities in planning policies, as well as adding ecological impact implications alongside those for climate and sustainability in committee and council reports.
Commenting, Chair of South Oxfordshire District Council’s Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee, Councillor Sam Casey-Rerhaye said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the relationship between people and nature. When we destroy and degrade habitats, we increase the risk of disease spill over from wildlife to people.
“We are seeing more and more tangibly how ecological issues are impacting nature and wildlife, and making the climate crisis even worse. We are already experiencing how this leads to extreme weather and has a detrimental effect on food production and so many other issues that ultimately endanger our lives and wellbeing, and the world around us.”