Recommendations from UK's first citizens assembly on climate change

The UK’s first national citizens’ meeting on climate change released its final report on reducing emissions to net zero.

The body’s goal is to bring people of all walks of life together to discuss how the nation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

In February and March, some 110 people gathered in Birmingham to learn from experts on climate change.

However, the meeting was moved online after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here are some of the most important recommendations.

Surface transport

A ban on the sale of new gasoline, diesel and hybrid cars by 2030-2035, with measures to quickly stop the sale of the most polluting vehicles and subsidies for low-carbon cars.
A reduction in car use by an average of 2% -5% per decade, improved public transport and investments in bicycles and scooters.

Air travel

People should still be able to fly, but there should be limits to the growth in passenger numbers, and frequent and long-haul pilots should pay more, with taxes increasing as people fly more often and further.

Investments also need to be made in the development and use of new technologies, such as synthetic fuels and electric aircraft.

In the House

Efforts to retrofit homes to reduce emissions should minimize disruption in the home, provide support around costs, and provide homeowners with flexibility and choice.

There should be a ban on the sale of new gas boilers from 2030 or 2035 and local plans for zero-carbon housing, allowing areas to choose the best technologies for their needs.

What we eat and how we use the land

A change in diet to reduce consumption of meat and dairy products by 20% -40%, with education to make the changes voluntary, and food and drink product labeling to show emissions from different foods.

Restoring forests, peatlands and gorselands and supporting farmers to make the switch to climate-friendly agriculture.

What we buy

Targets, standards and taxes to ensure that companies make products with less and less carbon emissions and materials, and carbon emissions labeling for products.

Measures to enable product sharing, reduce new purchases and support increased recycling.

Where our electricity comes from

Offshore wind, solar and onshore wind must be used to generate electricity as the UK goes to net zero.

There was much less support for bioenergy, nuclear and fossil fuels with technology that captures and permanently stores emissions.

We advocate for lasting changes that will ensure that litter and those responsible for it are addressed much more seriously.

Together with our community platform InYourArea and campaign group Clean Up Britain, we are calling for the flat-rate fine for anyone caught littering to be increased to £ 1,000 and for local authorities to enforce the law on what is already a criminal offense .

Sign our petition here, And invent more about the campaign here.

Greenhouse gas relocations

Forests and better forest management, restoration and management of peatlands and wetlands, using wood in construction, improving carbon storage in the soil, should be used to absorb emissions from the atmosphere.

There was less support for technologies to remove emissions, but for further research and development.

Covid-19, recovery and the path to net zero

Restrict or set conditions for investment in low-carbon industries, support low-carbon sectors, rethink and invest in infrastructure.

Make the most of the economic opportunities that the road to net zero offers and try to deal with Covid-19 and climate change where possible.

Additional recommendations supported by the Climate Assembly included a call for the transition to net zero to become an inter-political party, not a partisan issue, more transparency in the relationship between the government and major energy companies, and ensuring that UK emissions not pushed into anything else. the world.

The meeting did not pass two proposals to reach net zero by a date earlier than the legal 2050 target, with slightly more members opposed than those in support, and the balance was held by those who were unsure or did not mind .