Campaigners for the Climate and Ecology Bill handed in an open letter at Robert Courts MP's constituency office urging him to rethink his support for the proposed legislation.

Zero Hour Oxfordshire sent an open letter to all six Oxfordshire MPs in the run up to COP27.

The letter was signed by over 180 businesses and organisations and 26 councils, including Oxfordshire County Council, West Oxfordshire District Council, Chipping Norton Town Council, Charlbury Town Council, Burford Town Council and Witney Town Council.

The Climate and Ecology Bill (CE Bill) is a private member's bill which would ensure that the UK Government reduces its greenhouse gas emissions in line with keeping global warming below 1.5°C, reverses the damage to the natural world by 2030 and establishes a citizens' assembly to recommend measures for a cross-party strategy.

Witney Gazette:

Mr Courts has so far not endorsed the Bill.

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Campaigners are requesting a follow-up meeting with MPs to urge them to reconsider their position.

A crowd of constituents, representatives from West Oxfordshire District Council, Chipping Norton and Witney Town Councils attended the hand-in as well as Henry Astor of Bruern Farms and Hugh Taylor, CEO of Roadnight Taylor.

Cllr Rosie Pearson, who recently led the recommendation for West Oxfordshire District Council to support the Bill, said: “We have pioneers in West Oxfordshire - FarmED and Bruern Farms are leading the way in regenerative agriculture.

"Project Leo in Eynsham is showing what can be done with local energy systems. We even have the country’s top expert in connecting renewable energy to the grid in Roadnight Taylor operating from Burford. Not to mention an army of plumbers and electricians just waiting for the call to step up for the effort.

"We owe it to these pioneers, many of whom themselves have signed up to support this bill, to show that we are taking our part of the challenge seriously.”


Witney Gazette:


MD of Chadlington Brewery Jason Chipchase said: “Businesses like ours face significant challenges now and in coming years as a result of climate impacts and biodiversity loss.

"We are in urgent need of clear, science-led policies and urge our MP to support this Bill.”

Other supporters of the Bill include the Kitchen Garden People, Burford Garden Company and Derwent House.

Blenheim Palace has recently shared their intention to back the national campaign in support of the CE Bill.

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Coordinator and spokesperson for Zero Hour Oxfordshire, Kate Oldridge, said: "The impacts of the twin climate and biodiversity crises are already being felt in our constituencies – from flooding to droughts.

"This Bill does nothing more than provide a clear, science-led policy framework to help the Government deliver on the pledges it’s already made.

"We are inviting our MPs to meet with a Zero Hour representative to discuss their reasons for not supporting the Bill in light of mounting support from citizens, councils and businesses in their constituencies, and to reconsider their position."

Mr Courts said he was "sympathetic to some of the aims of the CE Bill" but concerned that it "takes us no further forward, setting out various lofty and laudable ambitions but little detail as to how they will actually be achieved - and it is this that those involved in passing law must focus upon.”

"The concept of citizens' assemblies is unconstitutional: Parliament, of elected representatives, is and must remain the ultimate citizens’ assembly.

"It is the role of elected representatives to find solutions as to how address climate change, not to subcontract the difficult decisions to an unelected and unaccountable focus group who may or may not move matters forward."

But he said he will continue to engage with the proposers of the Bill.



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This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris

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