Climate Action

Climate Assembly UK say steps to aid economic recovery should drive progress to net zero target

An overwhelming majority of Climate Assembly UK members say Government, employers and others should support changes to the economy and lifestyles which help achieve the UK’s net zero emissions target.

  • 23 June 2020
  • Rachel Cooper

An overwhelming majority of Climate Assembly UK members say Government, employers and others should support changes to the economy and lifestyles which help achieve the UK’s net zero emissions target.

Climate Assembly UK’s members are representative of the UK population. The 108 members who started 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.

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”.

In addition to this, 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.”

Assembly member Ibrahim, a GP from Surrey, said: “The Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown have had a huge effect on the economy and lives of people. It has become important for the Government, Parliament and business organisations to strongly consider a recovery approach that will not cause further harm to the planet.”

Parliament expects a statement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer on economic stimulus before the summer recess. On June 25, the Committee on Climate Change will deliver a progress update to Parliament which will focus on the response to the Covd-19 pandemic and will note the findings of Climate Assembly UK on the matter.

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.

The full report, which will be much more detailed, will now be delivered in September 2020. Read the interim briefing here.