A climate emergency is expected to be declared by Chipping Norton as residents are taking a proactive approach to the global crisis.
More than 100 people packed out the Methodist church hall two weeks ago for a meeting to hear from a climate scientist and students, as well as discuss what the town can do about the issue.
Marcus Simmons, chairman of sustainability group Transition Chipping Norton, which organised the assembly, hopes to build on the enthusiasm at Chipping Norton Town Council’s next meeting.
“We have real hope this town meeting will kick off a new dynamic of positive, creative action in our town,” he said. “Chippy’s history shows we have been able to achieve remarkable things when we put our minds to it.”
Oxford climate modelling expert Karsten Haustein detailed his work on ‘weather attribution’ and warned how we must avoid a ‘cascade of tipping points’, while Chipping Norton School pupils presented their concerns and hopes for the future at the meeting on June 19.
Marcus said the students were ‘superb’ as they spoke about potential policy changes with conviction and dignity.
Student and School Strike for Climate demonstrator Naomi Coleman said: “My friends and I are taking action because if we don’t start helping the earth we won’t have one for much longer, not a nice one at least.
“Scientists say we only have 12 years till it is irreversible, so we all need to get a scoot on, or there will be no more Earth to enjoy.”
Councils across the country have followed parliament’s example in declaring a climate emergency, including West Oxfordshire District Council.
The passion shown in Chipping Norton led Marcus to challenge other towns in the area, such as Banbury, to follow suit and organise how to cut emissions and change the way we live to save the planet.
He said: “We’re not disparaging anyone but we’re saying look at what we can do in Chippy, so why can’t you?”
Marcus said the next goal is to educate more people about the science and what they can do about it, and decide how to act as a united town, at the town council’s meeting on July 17. Everyone is invited to the Lower Town Hall from 7.45pm.