Oxford’s first Youth Climate Summit

Oxford City Council have announced plans to host Oxford’s first Youth Climate summit as early as the coming autumn.

Last year’s Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change took place on the weekends of Saturday 28 September and Sunday 29 September, and Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October 2019.

As part of that Assembly, the Oxford City Council made several commitments, one of which was to ‘hold a Zero Carbon Oxford summit in the early new year.’

In line with that commitment, the Council is now planning to host Oxford’s first Youth Climate summit.

At this stage, the expectation is that this summit will take place in November, around the same timeframe that Conference of Parties (COP) 26 climate change summit was to have been hosted in Glasgow. It will take the form of a digital event, due to coronavirus restrictions.

Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, said:

“The United Nations may have needed to postpone their pivotal climate summit, but there can be no putting off the urgent need for climate action in 2020. The science tells us emissions must peak this year if we want to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Around the time that world leaders would have gathered in Glasgow this year to combat climate change, Oxford’s youth will unite to make a difference.”

The Council has outlined that the overarching purpose of the proposed Youth Summit will be to ‘co-design a platform with young climate action leaders to engage in discussion about their future, identify actions young people themselves can take, and look at how they can use their influence to find city-wide solutions to the global climate emergency.’

Councillor Tom Hayes, added:

“The focus will not simply be on young people from Oxford. We want to unite young people in Oxford and countries affected by the climate crisis through our virtual summit. We want Oxford’s younger people to feel more confident having climate conversations with older generations and asking for urgent action which protects them from the brunt of a changing climate.”

The summit will include presentations from experts, different workshops and Q&A sessions.

Councillor Tom Hayes, continued:

“Climate breakdown can feel big, global, and overwhelming. Young people who will be most affected by our climate crisis can particularly feel disempowered. We want Oxford’s younger citizens to take matters into their own hands, tell us how they want us to run their summit, and use the summit to share ideas and come up with fixes.

Last year’s Citizen’s Assembly was opened by

Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash

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