The UK Climate Assembly has urged the government to adopt a green recovery from COVID-19, they have asked the government to focus specifically on imposing limits to carbon-intensive industries and changing the way we travel going forward.
The Climate Assembly was commissioned by six cross-party Select Committees from Parliament to explore how the UK should reach its legally-binding target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
At the request of Parliament and members of the committee, the final weekend of the assembly included an opportunity for members to discuss the impact that Covid-19 has and will have in reaching net-zero created.
79% of assembly members agreed that: ‘Steps taken by the government to help the economy recover should be designed to helo achieve net-zero.’
Assembly members’ most frequently given reasons for agreeing with this statement included requests for the government to limit, or put conditions on high carbon industries, deal with Covid-19 and climate change together and take advantage of the current opportunities for change.
93% of members agreed that as lockdown eases, government and employers should take steps to encourage lifestyle changes, such as working from how and changes to how we travel in order to ensure our lifestyles become more compatible with reaching net zero.
In a letter from the chairs of the six commissioning committees, they write: ‘It is vital that achieving the UKs net-zero target, which has unanimous cross-party support, is a joint endeavour between the government, parliament and the public across the country.
‘In recent months the UK public has demonstrated its capacity to respond positively and responsibly when they understand the risks posed to them by an invisible threat that demands collective action. We believe that a similar approach, based on securing public support for ambitious policies through open dialogue around the science, is a sound basis for the net-zero journey.
‘We are very grateful to the 108 assembly members for completing their work in difficult circumstances. Our committees will use their findings to inform our work scrutinising Government policy and implementation. We are sure that the government will want to take them into account when developing policies and explaining them to parliament.’
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