We, the undersigned residents of Oxford and supporters from around the world, call on the city council to reject tar sands oil from our city.
Canada’s tar sands are the biggest energy project in the world. Already, millions of barrels of tar sands oil have been extracted from the Canadian wilderness, decimating the landscape and producing three to five times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil extraction. Nearby First Nations communities are also being devastated by the loss of their traditional lands and access to food and medicine.
Although tar sands oil hasn’t yet arrived in the UK in significant quantities, its large-scale import is highly likely as Canada attempts to find new markets for export. Opening up Europe and the UK to tar sands would be a green light for more reckless expansion of this huge industry.
As a progressive city and a centre of world class education, we believe that Oxford should lead the way and become one of the first communities in the UK to actively reject the tar sands.
The City Council’s Carbon Management Plan states that the council “places environmental sustainability and carbon reduction at the heart of everything that the Council does”. We therefore ask that the City Council:
1) Reject tar sands as an acceptable source of liquid fuel, and declare Oxford a ‘Tar Free City’.
2) Include measures in its future liquid fuels procurement policies which will ensure that tar sands will not be part of the fuel mix it purchases for its vehicle and plant fleet.
We believe that an important part of the city’s responsibility in “provid[ing] wider leadership…in reducing the overall carbon footprint of the City” is rejecting tar sands for the dirty, carbon-intensive fuel that they are!