Climate Assembly UK

collection of pink, yellow and orange post it notes from the Climate Assembly UK

Have we already achieved our third demand? Many of you will know about Climate Assembly UK, a citizens’ assembly commissioned by six parliamentary select committees, not the UK Government. Took place over several weekends in Birmingham in early 2020 … with the last two weekends happening online due to COVID 19.

Their report was published in September 2020.

Here is a brief overview:
Question : “How can the UK reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050?”

  • Better climate information and leadership from the government
  • Fairness is important
  • No reliance on future technologies
  • Call for follow up CA
  • Date set for 2050
  • Limited remit, e.g. no freight or import emissions
  • Insufficient publicity
  • Advisory

Their recommendations are valuable and the process was a good starting point

Our video ( 1min)about its limitations (released in March 2020) is still valid:

A short summary of limitations:

1. The assembly was working to a net zero target date of 2050 – which is way to late. 2050 provides less than a 50% chance of keeping global warming at 1.5 degrees.

2. They did not address the UK’s global carbon footprint, especially import trade and transport

3. The wider public was not aware of the Climate Assembly and there was no mechanism for public to send their comments

4. In the end the assembly was “toothless” because from the start there was no government buy-in to review and accept, modify or reject its recommendations. In fact the outcomes are being ignored

We (CAWG/XR) do acknowledge that it (Climate Assembly UK) was a stepping stone towards the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice that we need and XR is demanding.

Read more in our letter to the Guardian on 27th Feb, 2020 ‘Why we need a new climate assembly’ signed by:

Dr David Booth School of life sciences, University of Dundee, Dr Gail Bradbrook Extinction Rebellion, Kevin Brennan MP Labour, Stella Creasy MP Labour, Dr Charlie Gardner Lecturer in conservation science, University of Kent, Prof Dave Goulson Professor of biology, University of Sussex, Dr Huw Griffiths Polar marine biologist, Ben Lake MP Plaid Cymru, Chris Law MP SNP, Clive Lewis MP Labour, Sarah Lunnon Extinction Rebellion, Bill McGuire Professor emeritus of geophysical and climate hazards, UCL, Anna McMorrin MP Labour, George Monbiot, Dr Lesley Morrison Retired GP, Chris Newman GP, Alex Penson Senior computational biologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Jamie Peters Director of campaigning impact, Friends of the Earth, Charles Secrett Independent adviser on Green New Deal, Tommy Sheppard MP SNP, Alex Sobel MP Labour; Chair of net zero all-party parliamentary group

We have also held a series of webinars about the UK Climate Assembly.