A frequent flyer tax, review of polluting SUVs, and banning vehicles from city centers to bring climate change solutions to the public.
The Citizens’ Rally – 108 people from all walks of life – was published after weekly discussions
They suggested limiting road construction and using the highway to cut emissions.
MPs said the report provided a “unique insight”, but the extinct rebellion of leaders said it did not go too far.
The report said the government needed to take the lead on climate change and stressed that climate policy must be fair to all – especially the poorest in society.
Its fundamental decisions can provide political cover to ministers who are generally alarmed by the public reaction against policies that affect livelihoods.
What is a gathering of citizens?
This group or gathering of citizens formed six government selection committees – a party of MPs who will look into what the government is doing and government policy.
The full members of the assembly were selected to represent an opinion from across the UK and committed 60 hours of their time to studying and debating climate change.
They met for more than six weeks and were asked how to come up with an idea to achieve UK net zero emissions by 2050. Their findings are published in a 550-page report.
What did they say?
Members said “strong and clear leadership from the government” is essential to tackle climate change.
“As the country is still isolated from the coronavirus, it clearly makes us feel that prioritizing the Net Zero Policy is not only important, but achievable,” said a member of Bath Sue.
“We need a long-term government strategy to help us,” Hamish, a software engineer in rural Aberdeenshire, told BBC News.
A key theme of the report is education. GP Ibrahim from Surrey said: “Schools too – the media has a role to play. We probably need to look at the curriculum.
“You can’t go to anyone and say ‘you have to change the hydrogen boiler because it’s low in CO2 but they have no idea [about it]. People are more likely to buy from you when they find out about the problems. “
Members said the government should start selling contaminated new vehicles such as SEOVs and stop advertising high-polluting products.
Another central message is for policies to be fair. Amanda of Kent said: “Electric cars have to be more affordable for everyone – not just people who make enough money.”
They frequently support higher tariffs on flyers and investments in clean aircraft technology.
Tracy, a mother in Northern Ireland, said: “I used to be a frequent flyer myself – so I’d say to reduce our emissions – we needed to have something there to stop so many flights.”
Regarding what we are eating and how we will use the land, the assembly called for a 20-40% volunteer cut in red meat eating.
“The government can’t legislate against eating red meat,” Amanda told us, “but with education, advertising and labeling I think we can change their attitude towards eating red meat – as we did with smoking.”
They further said:
- Businesses should create products using less energy and materials
- People should repair the product and share more without owning all their equipment
- The UK should get more power from wind and solar energy offshore and off the coast
- New housing developments through housing and cycling must have access to facilities
Most members were not very interested in burning wood at nuclear – or power plants – and most were not confident about carbon capture and storage.
They think the government should take advantage of the Covid crisis to limit support for the high-carbon industry.
What was the response?
The lawmakers behind the assembly said the report “gives the business community a unique insight into the thinking of the informed people and the changes needed to meet the objectives that Parliament has agreed to”. They said: “Their work deserves action.”
Crispin Truman of the rural charity CPRE said, “There is a general hunger for the UK’s contribution to the climate emergency to go beyond government action.”
Tom Burke, from the Climate Change Think Tank, E3G, added: “This is an interesting tribute to the common sense of the British public. There is a clear lesson for politicians and editors about the role our citizens can play in shaping public policy across the political spectrum.” ”
However, the Radical Green Group has strongly condemned the internationally recognized proposals of the Exodus Rebellion (XR) for being too bold to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. They warned that the report could be buried in the government bureaucracy.
What’s happening now?
The committees behind the report have asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to respond before the end of the year.
This could be challenging, as a recent report from the Institute for Government says Covid and Brexit have forced climate change to fall below the government’s priority list – a claim the government denies.
A government spokesman said they would study the report.
The organizers of the rally have requested that only the first names of the members be used in the media.
Follow Roger on Twitter @ Dharrabin