Supernumerary Fellow Nick Eyre Appointed as Oxford City Council’s First Scientific Advisor

  • Professor Nick Eyre
29 October, 2020

Supernumerary Research Fellow in Energy, Professor Nick Eyre, has been announced as Oxford City Council’s first ever Scientific Advisor. He will support the Council and the city, as it continues to tackle the climate emergency.

Professor Eyre is Senior Research Fellow in Energy at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) and leads the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS), the main UK university research programme on energy use. He is also a Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Integrating Renewable Energy. Prior to taking up his role as Director of CREDS, Nick was a Jackson Senior Research Fellow at Oriel.

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.

The council acknowledged the need for expert advice on the science around the climate emergency and the need to explore in greater detail the challenge faced as the Council, for residents, and the community and how best to respond. In his voluntary role as Scientific Advisor, Professor Eyre 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 its net-zero targets.

Professor Eyre has worked as a researcher, consultant and manager on energy and environmental issues since 1984. His focus is on energy policy, in particular looking at energy demand, energy efficiency and the transition to low carbon energy systems. 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.

Professor Eyre 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 also spoke as an expert speaker and Advisory Group member at the Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change in autumn last year, as well speaking as the Climate Assembly UK earlier this year. He has lived in Oxford for 35 years.

Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, said: “I am delighted to welcome Professor Nick Eyre to his role as Oxford City Council’s Chief Scientist. Climate science has a vital role to play at the heart of the Council’s policy making, and Professor Eyre is a world-leading scientist who will provide the best advice. As Chief Scientist, Professor Eyre will strengthen this Council’s evidence-based decision-making by bringing the scientific community and independent advice into our democratically elected council.  Having worked with our new Chief Scientist on the Oxford Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, and other business, I have seen first-hand his love for Oxford and his deep commitment to ensuring the city uses science effectively. I look forward to the City Council receiving Professor Eyre’s forthright, independent, expert advice.”

Professor Eyre said: “I am delighted to have been asked by the City Council to act as its scientific advisor on climate change. The transition to making Oxford a zero carbon city will be a challenge, but it is achievable, and the work to do it has already begun. I look forward to ensuring that the Council has access to best advice from the city’s two universities as it continues sets out on this path.”