Oxford City Council appoints first scientific advisor

Oxford Uni Professor Nick Eyre

Oxford City Council has appointed its first scientific advisor, Professor Nick Eyre, who will support the Council and the city, as it continues to tackle the climate emergency.

Oxford City Council declared a climate emergency in January 2019, and in Autumn 2019 held the Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change – making it the first city in the UK to hold a Citizens’ Assembly on the issue. Following the Citizens Assembly, the Council agreed to create a zero carbon plan for the Council and city.

Professor Nick Eyre is Senior Research Fellow in Energy at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), and a Supernumerary Fellow of Oriel College. He leads the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions, which is the main UK university research programme on energy use. He is also a Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Integrating Renewable Energy.

In his voluntary role as the Scientific Advisor, Nick will offer the Council independent advice relating to its goal of tackling the climate emergency in Oxford, in particular he will be helping to inform the Council’s future sustainability strategy to meet it’s net-zero targets.

His role will also include contributions, when required, to the Council’s Scrutiny and Cabinet committees.

Nick has worked as a researcher, consultant and manager on energy and environmental issues since 1984, and was Programme Leader for Energy in the Environmental Change Institute from 2007 to 2017. His focus is on energy policy, in particular looking at energy demand, energy efficiency and the transition to low carbon energy systems.

He has also supported Low Carbon Hub in their landmark ‘Oxfordshire’s Local Carbon Economy’ report which evaluated the economic case for investment in the low carbon economy in Oxfordshire.

He was one of the UK’s first researchers on mitigation of carbon emissions, and was co-author of a presentation to the UK Cabinet on this issue in 1989. In 1997, he wrote the first published study on how the Government’s 20% carbon emission reduction target might be delivered. He has since advised Government ministers and Parliamentary inquiries.

The new role is voluntary and unsalaried, and has been agreed by the leaders of each of the main political parties on the Council.