Following a final set of discussions last weekend, the members of Climate Assembly UK have concluded work on their reflections and recommendations due to form a report to Parliament.
Following three in-person weekends and three online sessions, Climate Assembly UK has finished its discussions on the UK’s path to net zero. Since January, the Assembly has heard views on a range of options for getting to net zero, across themes including how we travel, how we heat our homes and what we buy.
The assembly members have had to complete their work against the backdrop of a challenging 2020 – including battling through Storm Ciara, and moving online amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The members were drawn from all walks of life and are representative of the UK population in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, rural and urban areas, educational attainment, regional location and attitudes to climate change.
The report will act as a valuable body of evidence for all politicians and policy makers on public preferences for how to get to net zero. As the UK prepares to host COP26 in 2021, the UK Government has promised a ‘year of climate action’, and assembly members have stressed their desire to see their work turned into tangible progress on net zero. One Assembly member said:
“As a member of Climate Assembly UK I am proud that, despite the many challenges faced by us all during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have still managed to finish the work needed to successfully provide the six Select Committees with proposals to meet the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. I hope Parliament will take time to consider these proposals with due care and respect.”
The Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and one of the Assembly’s Expert Leads, Chris Stark, has already indicated that the assembly’s work will feed into the CCC’s ongoing analysis of the UK’s performance on building a low-carbon economy. The six commissioning Select Committees will also use the results of the Assembly’s work to inform and support their work in holding the Government to account on meeting its legally binding target of reaching net zero by 2050.
Throughout the process, the Assembly has received the advice and guidance from numerous experts and industry representatives. The four Expert Leads were supported by a stakeholder group (the Advisory Panel) with representation from organisations such as Citizens’ Advice, the Adam Smith Institute and Greenpeace, and also an Academic panel. Together these groups ensured that the information received by the assembly was balanced, accurate and comprehensive. All speaker presentations, transcripts and slides are available from the meetings pages as well as recordings of the assembly’s plenary Q&A sessions with the speakers.