Reducing emissions across Oxfordshire | Oxfordshire County Council

Reducing emissions across Oxfordshire

We are working in partnership to reduce emissions across the county.


The UK, along with 174 other countries, is a signatory to the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Governments have agreed a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and are legally bound to ‘pursue domestic mitigation measures’.

The UK’s Climate Change Act, 2008 commits to reduce national emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, and by 34% by 2020. 

We have committed to reduce emissions from our own buildings and activities by 3% per year, in line with the national target. 

Together with the city and district councils and other members of the Oxfordshire partnerships we have also committed to reduce emissions across Oxfordshire by 50% of 2008 levels by 2030.


Emissions of carbon dioxide in Oxfordshire fell by 23% between 2008 and 2015. 

In 2015 (most recent data), transport accounted for over 40% of emissions, (most of this from road transport), industry and commerce for 33% and domestic emissions for 25%.

Forecasting emissions

To help monitor progress against the countywide target to halve emissions by 2030 (compared against 2008) we commissioned Aether (a local consultancy with expertise in emissions modelling) to model future emissions from Oxfordshire.  

The latest report, published in May 2018, shows that if recent trends continue, emissions would fall by just under 30% by 2030.  However, implementing low carbon initiatives and growing the low carbon economy in tandem with the county’s economic growth ambitions has the potential to ensure a continued reduction in emissions to meet and possibly exceed the Oxfordshire 2030 target.

See our interactive graphic to find out more about the county’s past and projected emissions.

Download the Aether report, Oxfordshire Greenhouse Gas projections (pdf format, 2Mb).

Forecasting weather

It is likely that the weather patterns in Oxfordshire will change in the coming decades. Download Oxfordshire in a changing climate (pdf format, 942Kb).  

Working in partnership to reduce emissions


The OxFutures programme, led by Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and key delivery partner, social enterprise, Low Carbon Hub, was funded by
Intelligent Energy Europe to deliver around £18 million of investment into renewables and energy efficiency in Oxfordshire by 2017.

The strongest element of the programme has been 'community energy' – renewables schemes developed by the community and funded by local shareholders.  In this model, the host organisation gets a discounted bill for their green energy and 'profits' are cycled back into further energy efficiency and renewables projects. 

The programme has had an impressive uptake with schools with 4,000 panels installed across 20 schools to date.  Schools have been motivated as much by the environmental and wider community benefits, as the cost savings and fully managed programme on offer.

Low Carbon Oxford

The council is also an active member of Low Carbon Oxford, a group of the major energy users in the city, public, private and academic working together to achieve the city’s ambitious target to reduce emissions in Oxford by 40% by 2020.

Watch a short video about Low Carbon Oxford week.


Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) is focusing £1.6m from its European Structural and Investment Fund on the low carbon agenda. With match funding this will equate to a £3.2m low carbon programme for Oxfordshire which will help businesses reduce their carbon footprint. 
Find out more on the Oxfordshire Business Support website.


Oxfordshire County Council funds the Community Action Group (CAG) project to provide support to Oxfordshire community groups taking action against climate change.  The project currently supports a network of over 50 local groups involved in a diverse range of activities around energy management, renewable energy, local food and waste management. Interested in joining a community group undertaking projects to combat climate change visit? 

You may want to undertake your own project or start your own local group, in which case the CAG project may also be able to provide advice.

The council also works in partnership with Low Carbon Hub, an Oxfordshire not-for-profit organisation at the forefront of developing renewable energy projects for community benefit.

Smart Oxford

Smart Oxford is the strategic programme of a wide range of city partners working together to develop and promote Oxford as a smart city. The vision is for a city where innovative ideas, active citizens and aligned stakeholders come together to create a better Oxford.  Their aim is to build a stronger, safer, economically and environmentally sustainable city, to identify and be part of city solutions, to provide a testbed for world class researchers and innovators, to generate growth and jobs, to advance economic and social prosperity, and to help improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of city services.

Last reviewed
27 April 2018
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