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A frequent flyer tax, phasing out polluting SUVs and banning cars from city centres are some of the climate change solutions members of the public have come up with. A citizens’ assembly – of 108 people from all walks of life – published its report after weeks of discussions. They suggested road-building limits and to use the pandemic to cut emissions. MPs said the report offered a “unique insight”, but activists Extinction Rebellion said it didn’t go far enough. The report says the government must show leadership on climate change and insists climate policies must be fair to all – especially the poorest in society. Its radical conclusions may offer political cover to ministers who’re typically nervous of a public backlash against policies that affect lifestyles.

BBC 9th Sept 2020 read more »

A key part of the UK government’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been opposed by the first citizens’ assembly on climate change. Ministers and their advisers have previously said the UK would continue to use natural gas for “many years to come” and that carbon capture and storage (CCS) would have an “essential role” in meeting the target of net zero emissions by 2050. But the UK Climate Assembly has voted strongly for a move away from fossil fuels and against the use of CCS. The assembly, commissioned by six parliamentary committees, published its recommendations this morning on how the UK could reach net zero. The 556-page final report, The Path to Net Zero, was the result of six weekends of assembly sessions, involving 108 members selected to represent the UK population in age, gender, ethnicity, home area and level of concern about climate change. Many of the 50 recommendations, covering issues such as travel, home heating, electricity generation, greenhouse gas removal, shopping and food production, were in line with advice from the government’s adviser, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). But the assembly’s votes on fossil fuel use and carbon capture went against the CCC’s latest recommendations and government policy.

Drill or Drop 10th Sept 2020 read more »

The first UK climate assembly made up of members of the public is calling for a tax on frequent flyers, a ban on selling SUVs and a cut in meat consumption as part of the Covid-19 economic recovery. The assembly was made up of 108 people from all walks of life, who took part in meetings to discuss reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A final report of the assembly said recovering from Covid-19 should be used as an opportunity to hit net zero carbon emissions and drive different lifestyles to tackle the climate crisis, including a frequent flyers tax and a reduction in meat and dairy consumption. A large majority, 79% of the assembly, strongly agreed, or agreed, that economic recovery after the pandemic must be designed to help drive the country to its 2050 net zero target, which was signed into law last year. These steps should include limits or conditions on investment in high carbon industries, and government encouragement for lifestyles to become more compatible with reaching net zero. The assembly, which met for 6,000 hours across six weekends over 2020, said strong and clear leadership was needed. Key recommendations in the report included: Frequent flyer tax for individuals who fly furthest and most often; Increased government investment in low carbon buses and trains; An early shift to electric vehicles; An urgent ban on selling heavily polluting vehicles such as SUVs; Grants for people to buy low-carbon cars; A reduction in the amount we use cars by 2–5% per decade; Making wind and solar energy a key part of how the UK reaches net zero; Greater reliance on local produce and local food production; A change in diet – driven by education – to reduce meat and dairy consumption by between 20% and 40%. In its final recommendations, the UK climate assembly said there were key themes for the country as it moved towards net zero. Education and information about climate change and the steps to tackle it was needed for individuals, businesses, government and others. And any measures taken to cut emissions needed to be applied fairly. “Fair to people with jobs in different sectors. Fair to people with different incomes, travel preferences and housing arrangements. Fair to people who live in different parts of the UK,” the assembly said.

Guardian 10th Sept 2020 read more »

Tax the most frequent flyers, ban new gas boilers and demand carbon labelling, UK Climate Assembly tells politicians.

iNews 10th Sept 2020 read more »

There was also very strong support for renewables – particularly offshore wind power – as well as for deposit return schemes to boost recycling, and projects to restore forests and peatland to help drive down emissions, all of which feature to some extent in the government’s existing policy plans. In other areas, however, support was somewhat lower, with Assembly members expressing doubts over the costs and benefits of nuclear and bioenergy, for example, as well as advocating for a conservative approach to some cutting edge clean technologies, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and direct air capture (DAC) systems.

Business Green 10th Sept 2020 read more »

The assembly’s final report, published today, recommends changes across a broad range of sectors, from meat-and-dairy consumption and air travel through to zero-carbon heating and electricity generation. Measures receiving high levels of support from the assembly include: a levy for frequent fliers; a ban on the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2030-35; and a switch to a more biodiversity-focused farming system. However, some measures for stronger climate action did not receive strong support. For example, the assembly did not recommend reaching net-zero emissions earlier than 2050. In this in-depth Q&A, Carbon Brief walks through the assembly’s recommendations for every sector of the UK’s economy.

Carbon Brief 10th Sept 2020 read more »

Climate Assembly UK’s report, ‘The Path to Net Zero’, shows how a representative sample of the population believe the UK should go carbon zero – it turns out people want renewables not nuclear.

Climate Assembly 10th Sept 2020 read more »

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