2019 will be remembered as the year that climate change came to the top of the agenda, thanks to millions of people across the world taking action and making their voices heard. From Greta Thunberg and the thousands of schools children taking weekly climate strikes, to Extinction Rebellion taking direct action and shutting down central London. County and city councils across the country declared a ‘climate emergency’ and began to make action plans to tackle climate change, and in the UK we had the first ‘climate debate’ as part of the UK General Election.
Its been a year full of successes and challenges, but what were the key highlights and successes for the CAG Oxfordshire network in 2019?
- We became an independent, co-operatively owned network, democratically accountable to our network members.
- Refill oxford launched new and improved app – Refill More, that enables you to find the nearest place in the city to refill your water, coffee, lunchbox, groceries and more.
- Oxford’s Library of Things expanded to fill a larger space at Makespace Oxford, and gained funding to employ a new business development manager.
- Bicester Green Launched a new ‘Sheds’ project to help people build skills and reduce social isolation.
- Flos- the place in the park opened a new Refill shop that has been hugely successful, they also took on managing the old bowling pavilion which will now be used for activities of benefit to the community.
- Oxfordshire Community Land Trust started work on-site at their development in Dean Court, and have large further ambitions. They successfully partnered with Communities First Oxfordshire to win funding for ‘Collaborative Housing’ – a hub to support community-led housing. In November 2019 they were part of hosting a national conference on community-led housing.
- Abingdon Carbon Cutters successfully achieved Plastic Free Town’ Status for Abingdon.
- New community fridges set up: we supported the launched of lots of new community fridges across the county, in towns such as Witney, Abingdon and Blackbird Leys.
- Hundreds of new trees were planted! Lots of CAGs undertook new tree planting activities with enthusiastic volunteers, examples include Marston Community Garden, Low Carbon West Oxford and orchards gifted to schools by Grassroots Bicester.
- Our network grew to over 70 groups, with new groups joining such as Watlington Climate Action Group, Witney Land Army, Kidlington Abundance and more.