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Climate Assembly UK prepares to meet – with support from Bristol board and committee members

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As the UK’s first citizens’ assembly on climate change prepares to meet for the first time at the end of January, the two panels of stakeholders and researchers helping to ensure the balance and accuracy of the assembly have been announced with representatives of Bristol boards selected to provide leadership and advice.

Lorraine Whitmarsh of the Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change (BACCC) is one of four expert leads and Jo House, co-chair of BACCC and Dale Southerton, member of Bristol’s ‘One City’ Environmental Sustainability board, are academic Panel members.

Climate Assembly UK was commissioned by six cross-party House of Commons Select Committees in summer 2019 in response to the Government’s commitment to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Climate Assembly UK will meet for the first time at the end of January and will have three further weekend meetings before the end of March. The 110 assembly members will consider how net zero can be achieved by 2050 and make recommendations on what the Government, businesses, the public and wider UK society should do to reduce carbon emissions.

At each weekend Members will consider a range of climate-focused topics including transport, energy use in the home, agriculture and consumer choices.

An extensive team of climate specialists, business leaders, constitutional and economic experts and civil society organisations are involved in ensuring Climate Assembly UK is balanced, accurate and comprehensive.

Three groups of experts are considering the Assembly in detail:

  • The Expert Leads ensure that Climate Assembly UK upholds the key principles of balance, accuracy and comprehensiveness, and that the assembly focuses on key questions about how to achieve net zero emissions by 2050;
  • The Advisory Panel is made up of key stakeholders with an interest or expertise in the areas of climate change that Climate Assembly UK will examine. The Panel offers feedback to the Expert Leads on key aspects of the assembly’s design, such as who is invited to speak, the topics of discussion, and the balance of information provided;
  • The Academic Panel is made up of researchers working on areas of climate change to be covered by the assembly. The Panel will use its expert knowledge to review written briefings for Assembly members and to support the Expert Leads in their role.

Over the past four months the Expert Leads, Advisory Panel and Academic Panel have been working with the assembly team to develop and consider detailed plans for the design of the assembly and the speakers that will address assembly members. Further consideration will take place in the coming months, and final plans for the assembly will be published in advance of each weekend.

Expert Leads

The four Expert Leads work closely with Involve and Parliament on the design of the assembly and play a key role at the assembly weekends.  They are supported by both the Advisory Panel and the Academic Panel. The Expert Leads were announced on 2 November 2019.

They are all specialists in different approaches to tackling climate change. The Expert Leads are:

  • Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the Committee of Climate Change;
  • Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy, University College London and Director of the UK Energy Research Centre;
  • Lorraine Whitmarsh, Professor of Environmental Psychology, University of Cardiff, and Director of the UK Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations;
  • Rebecca Willis, Professor in Practice, Lancaster University, specialising in energy and climate governance.

Climate Assembly UK will meet for its first weekend on Friday 24 January.

Further information

Climate Assembly UK advisory and academic panels announced

For more information visit Climate Assembly UK 

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