Climate change: tax flies constantly, get rid of SUVs, government told

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Media captionEarlier this year, BBC’s Rebecca Morel listened to the views of four citizens’ assembly members

One of the suggested climate change solutions by members of the public in a frequent flying, phasing-out of polluting SUVs and banning cars in city centers.

After a week-long debate, a civic gathering of 108 people from all walks of life published their report.

He proposed to curb road construction and use the epidemic to cut emissions.

MPs said the report offered a “unique insight”, but the activists’ revolt to extinction said it had not gone too far.

The report says that the government needs to show leadership on climate change and insists that climate policies should be fair to all – especially the poorest in society.

Its radical findings could give political cover to ministers who generally publicly backlash against policies affecting lifestyles.

What is the assembly of citizens?

The group, or gathering of citizens, was set up by six government select committees – a group of MPs who look at what the government is doing and examine the policy.

Members of the Legislative Assembly were elected to represent a spectrum of views from across Britain and committed 60 hours of their time to study and debate climate change.

They met over six weekends and were asked how to come up with ideas to help Britain achieve zero emissions by 2050. Their findings have been published in a report that exceeds 550 pages.

  • What is Climate Assembly?
  • Climate assembly considered flying bananas

What have they said

Members said it was “necessary that there be strong and clear leadership from the government to deal with climate change”.

A member from Bath, Suu said, “Even as the country still suffers from coronavirus, it is clear to most of us that prioritizing a net zero policy is not only important, but achievable is.”

Hamish, a software engineer from rural Aberdeenshire, told BBC News that the government needed to “develop a long-term strategy to help us”.

One of the main topics of the report is education. Ibrahim, a GP from Surrey, said: “The media will have to take a role – also as schools. We probably need to look at the curriculum.

“You can’t go to anyone and say you need to go to a hydrogen boiler because it’s low CO2” but they have no idea [about it]. When you are aware of the issues you are more likely to buy from people. “

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Media captionLeia and Ibrahim are two of the 108 members of the public who worked on the climate change report

Members said that the government should start stopping the sale of new vehicles such as SUVs and stop advertisements for highly polluting goods.

Another central message is the need for policies to be fair. Amanda of Kent said: “Electric cars should be more affordable for everyone – not just those who make enough money.”

He consistently supported higher taxes on fliers, and invested in clean aviation technology.

Tracy, a mother in Northern Ireland, said: “I will keep blowing myself up constantly – so I would say there must be something to stop us from flying so much – to reduce our emissions.”

On the subject of what we eat and how we use the land, the Assembly urged a voluntary reduction of 20-40% in eating red meat.

“The government can’t legislate against eating red meat,” Amanda told us, “but with education, advertising and labeling, I think we can change their attitudes toward eating red meat – as we did with smoking. did.”

He also said:

  • Businesses should make products using less energy and materials
  • People should repair and share more and more of the goods rather than owning all their equipment
  • Britain should get more electricity from offshore and onshore wind, and solar power
  • The new housing development should have good access to facilities through walking and cycling

Most members were not too keen on wood burning in nuclear – or power stations – and most were not convinced in carbon capture and storage.

He feels that the government should face the Kovid crisis to limit support for high-carbon industries.

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What was the reaction?

The MPs behind the assembly said the report “provides the necessary changes to help the public-informed inform the business-up and fulfill the purpose that Parliament has agreed to”. He said: “There is merit in his work.”

Crispin Truman, from the countryside charity CPRE, shows that “public hunger to offset Britain’s contribution to the climate emergency has eluded government action.”

And Tom Burke from E3G, a climate change think tank, said: “This is an important tribute to the general knowledge of the British public. There is a clear lesson for leaders and editors across the political spectrum about the role our citizens are capable of shaping public policy. ”

However, the radical Green Group Extinction Rebellion (XR) condemned the proposals, which are too timid to carry out internationally agreed proposals. He warned that the report may be buried in government bureaucracy.

now what happened?

The committees behind the report have asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to respond before the end of the year.

This can be challenging, because according to a recent Eye Institute for Government report, Kovid and Brexit have forced climate change into the government’s priority list – a claim the government has denied.

A government spokesman said it would study the report.

Assembly organizers have requested that only the first members’ names be used in the media.

Follow Roger on Twitter @rharrabin