Library image, photo by Alireza Attari on Unsplash

Pathways to a zero carbon Oxfordshire

06 June, 2021

Pathways to a zero carbon Oxfordshire

Nick Eyre

Gavin Killip

Research paper  

Sam Hampton, Hannah Budnitz, Nick Eyre, Lewis Knight, Hannah Scott, Alison Smith, Scot Wheeler and Gavin Killip


Climate mitigation is a global problem whose solution involves local delivery. The need for coordinated interventions at multiple scales is widely acknowledged, but is hard to achieve in practice. Political commitment through declarations of ‘climate emergencies’ needs to be reflected in action on the ground. Local governments are well placed to convene partnerships, but resources are scarce and the task of scaling up is often hindered by national policy. This paper records the research commissioned by the six relevant local authorities to map pathways to a zero-carbon economy for the county of Oxfordshire (UK).

Building on an earlier report (presented at the ECEEE Summer Study 2015), we summarise recent progress on reducing carbon emissions, showing that Oxfordshire is on track to achieve a 50% reduction by 2030. However, decarbonisation achievements have been uneven and we highlight the need for urgent action on transport and heat decarbonisation if this trend is to continue. We present three distinct pathways for eliminating carbon emissions in Oxfordshire, with varying levels of individual behaviour change, community leadership, and reliance on technological solutions, and contrast these with a business-as-usual scenario.

Finally, we reflect on the ongoing process of engagement with representatives of local government and other stakeholders in trying to steer a path towards zero carbon.

Publication details

Hampton, S., Killip, G., Smith, A., Eyre, N., Knight. L., Scott, H., Budnitz, H. and Wheeler, S. 2021. Pathways to a zero carbon OxfordshireOpens in a new tab. In: Proceedings of eceee 2021 Summer Study on energy efficiency: a new reality? Conference paper 6-096-21. Online, 7–11 June 2021

Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash