A Citizens’ Assembly on climate change and achieving net zero has been announced by six of the government’s select committees.
The Assembly will bring together a group of citizens to discuss – and reach a conclusion on – a net zero pathway. A report will be produced after all the sessions are over, with the aim of providing the involved committees with clearer insight into the public’s views on the sharing of potential costs of different policy choices. Evidence will also be gathered directly from participants.
The Assembly is expected to take place over several weekends, starting in autumn, and will run for at least two weekends.
It comes in response to the government’s plans to legislate for net zero, announced after the Committee on Climate Change released its landmark Net Zero report.
As the Citizens’ Assembly seeks answers for achieving net zero, a UK Energy Research Centre report has recommended that the government keep all options open when mapping out a net zero pathway.
Rachel Reeves, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee, said: “This isn’t a challenge for just one Parliament, one political party, or one generation; to achieve net-zero by 2050 we need to build cross-party and cross-generational support for the short-medium-and-long term policies and actions needed to deliver it.
“I hope the Citizens’ Assembly will demonstrate that, when all is considered, there is strong public support – even demand – for the Government to take the action necessary to deliver the benefits of net zero by 2050.”
The six committees to announce the Citizens Assembly are the BEIS select committee, Environmental Audit, Housing, Communities and Local Government, Science and Technology, Transport and Treasury.