When the UK’s first national citizens’ assembly on climate change was announced in 2019, no one could have imagined that its results would be revealed as the country was reeling from a health crisis and a huge shock to the economic system. But much like the neighbourly support our communities have seen during the past six months, Climate Assembly UK has shown that, when a determined group of people come together to deal with something much bigger than them, amazing things can happen. The theme of collaboration and co-operation runs throughout the citizens’ assembly process and Climate Assembly UK saw 108 members from all walks of life come together over five months to provide detailed recommendations on how the UK should cut carbon right across the economy to mitigate climate change. Together, the group was a microcosm of the UK population, not just in terms of age, gender and ethnicity, but also educational level, where in the UK they live, whether they live in an urban or a rural area, and varying levels of concern about climate change. In his first speech to MPs after the 2019 general election, Boris Johnson pledged that he would deliver a “people’s parliament”, whatever the PM intended by that phrase, the Climate Assembly UK has put people at the heart of policy and they have spoken: they want action on climate change now. The government already has the goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Today’s report reveals that people in the UK recognise that this cornerstone climate policy offers a roadmap to a more secure, healthier future for them and their families, and that there is a strong public mandate to pursue it boldly. And let’s hope Downing Street is paying close attention to what they have said because the challenges of Brexit and Covid-19 economic recovery means the UK is crying out right now for truly transformative, popular ideas that will make the UK a prosperous nation in future.
Green Alliance 10th Sept 2020 read more »