'Overwhelming' majority of Climate Assembly UK members express support for changes needed to achieve net zero

Tue 23 June 2020 View all news

An interim briefing following the conclusion of the Citizens Climate Assembly UK says that an overwhelming majority of its 100+ members say that Government, employers and others should support changes to the economy and lifestyles which help achieve the UK’s net zero emissions target.

The interim briefing from the assembly, Covid-19, recovery and the path to net zero, provides the first insight into how members of the public, working to give Parliament and Government an understanding of the public’s views on how the UK should reach net zero, feel about the implications of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown for reaching net zero.

Climate Assembly UK’s members are representative of the UK population, and were introduced to the sorts of measures that will be required to reach net zero during the process of the Assembly. The results in the interim briefing show that:

  • 79% of assembly members ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that, “Steps taken by the government to help the economy recover should be designed to help achieve net zero”;
  • 93% of assembly members ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that, “As lockdown eases, government, employers and/or others should take steps to encourage lifestyles to change to be more compatible with reaching net zero.”

The 108 members who started out on Climate Assembly UK in January 2020 were selected to represent the UK’s population in terms of demographics and levels of concern about climate change.

The Assembly met face to face for three weekends in Birmingham before the final weekend (planned for 20th - 22nd March) was postponed in light of the pandemic and reorganised online across three weekends in April/May.

At the request of assembly members and Parliament, the altered schedule included a brief opportunity to reflect on the impact of coronavirus on tackling climate change. 

The interim briefing contains two sections; one on economic recovery and one on lifestyle changes. The Assembly members agreed two official assembly recommendations and were able to comment on their reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with each.

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