OxLEP showcased how – with the right level of investment – Oxfordshire is well-set to ‘do more’ and create solutions on a global scale that drive the world towards a zero-carbon future.
As key officials from across the globe continue critical discussions in Glasgow at COP26, the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) has played its role during the second week of the major climate change conference, hosting an official COP26 event of its own.
Complementing the Glasgow event, OxLEP – supported by the Greater South East Energy Hub – last night (9 November) hosted an official COP26 regional roadshow, during the UK Presidency's 'science and innovation' day, at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford, dubbed; ‘The Billion Tonne Drop – How Oxfordshire leads the global charge to address the climate emergency’.
Watch again: Official COP26 event hosted by OxLEP - 'The Billion Tonne Drop' (9 November 2021)
OxLEP’s programme was built around a ‘billion tonne drop’ theme, showcasing how the county’s world-leading innovation ecosystem can generate major global carbon emission savings through the significant capabilities generated within Oxfordshire, including in the fields of fusion energy, solar power, construction, electric vehicles and aviation.
The COP26 event also explored how the county’s expertise could be scaled-up, at pace, and ultimately benefit the global fight against climate change.
Watch supporting event film: 'The Billion Tonne Drop - How Oxfordshire leads the global charge to address the climate emergency'
Supported by a powerful, short-film that showcased some of Oxfordshire’s key projects that have the ability to play a significant role in creating a greener future globally, the event saw a number of key figures from the world of business, academia and green finance come together to discuss how:
- With the right level of investment, Oxfordshire – and in-turn, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc – is well-set to ‘do more’ and create further solutions that can drive the world towards a zero-carbon future.
- Oxfordshire’s history of delivering pioneering solutions to the world’s greatest issues (most-recently seen through the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine) can again be mobilised when it comes to addressing climate change.
- Oxfordshire is inspiring young minds and entrepreneurs to understand that we are the 'location of choice’ when it comes to opportunities available to address the climate emergency.
- Oxfordshire is a genuine world-leader in creating solutions that support a zero-carbon future and demonstrate that the county’s innovation ecosystem is already delivering many answers to the climate emergency.
A panel event, hosted by broadcaster Howard Bentham, saw the following representatives take part:
- Dr Alex Money – Director, Innovative Infrastructure Investment Programme, Smith School
- Pippa Gawley – Founder and Managing Director, Zero Carbon Capital
- Tony Gott – Non-Executive Chairman, Saietta Group
In addition, members of the Voice of Oxfordshire’s Youth (VOXY) – alongside elected members, entrepreneurs, investors and foreign embassy officials – were also in attendance.
Rob Panting – Communications Manager at OxLEP – said: “Our official COP26 event gave us an unprecedented platform to demonstrate the world-class capabilities that we have within Oxfordshire to support a zero-carbon future globally.
“Oxfordshire has a history of delivering pioneering solutions to the world’s greatest issues and we believe that the expertise and desire that exists in the county can be a critical driver to delivering the solutions that can tackle the climate emergency, and at pace too. We therefore hope that our COP26 event was able to amplify this message far-and-wide and result in an even greater awareness of our stand-out innovation ecosystem.”
In Oxfordshire – prior to the pandemic – the low-carbon energy sector generated £1.15bn a year and over the past half-decade, the county has attracted £2bn in foreign direct investment in this area.
The Oxfordshire Energy Strategy – which was launched in November 2019 and led by OxLEP, with support from both the private and public sectors – backs a drive towards zero-carbon growth by 2050 with the aim of spearheading a further £1.35bn annually to the county’s economy, creating at least 11,000 new jobs in the low-carbon sector by 2030.