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The Climate Assembly UK Report – September 2020

A vital step forward – or just more hot air?

Last Thursday the much-trumpeted Climate Assembly of 108 of our fellow citizens, facilitated by our friends at Involve and commissioned by the UK Parliament, reported its findings. Several weekend sessions were held, many experts spoke to the carefully selected and representative group, subsequent discussions were held, and notes fed into this final report. Covid-19 meant that the last sessions were held online. The final report can be seen here.

At tCI we have followed this process with interest of course… and citizen assemblies are well documented and reviewed on our website, see Citizens’ Assemblies – the best form of co-production? so we hope to be objective about the outcome. Involve certainly did a great job in organising such a challenging project.

We have also committed significant effort to our own support for addressing the Climate Emergency through a group of expert Associates and staff. We are ready to help organisations Engage, Engage, Engage with their stakeholders to address this long term thrust towards Carbon Net Zero successfully. There are several webinar sessions available to view for members on our website.

This report endorses that approach, and indeed promotes our collaborative message, requiring and recommending that strong, clear Leadership from the UK Government and the devolved administration is essential. Also that citizens, businesses and MPs work together in a non-party political atmosphere to address the future of our planet.

It also recommends, that as we come out of the worst effects of the pandemic, we use a Green Recovery ( the title of tCI’s Task and Finish group!) strategy to attack climate change as our economy recovers. This will mean using Covid-19 as a prompt and investing in better lifestyles, less carbon heavy travel and flying, investing in low carbon economic growth and encouraging such changes as eating less meat. Other suggestions from the Assembly fall into areas discussed such as public transport and the home, advocating further green investment in wind and solar systems to generate electrical power, investing in green infrastructure and house grants to install district heating systems and use more wood in construction.

There are many more recommendations, many pretty obvious, across a wide range of themes and areas of action required across the report. Perhaps the key message, though, is this:

We need to act – together as a team; we need to change behaviours – quickly – over the next 10-20 years; we need to educate and inform everyone and get them to act in our common interests; we need to be fair to all sections of society and business as we change; we need to incentivise the right actions to ensure that we achieve the mutual benefits of a healthier and less polluted planet, with economic, nature and wildlife thriving to give a better life for us all.

So, in summary, we see the report as a good step towards a longer term partnership with the population, business and communities. It’s a call for action we stand ready to support.

If you would like to discuss your green recovery plans and find out how we can support you, please get in touch with Sheena Ahmed.

 

 

This article was written by Howard Kendall Board Member. Director of Strategy. The Consultation Institute founder,  Rhion Jones Institute Director & Associate

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