CREDS welcomes Citizens’ Assembly ideas for a net-zero carbon economy

23 June, 2020

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CREDS welcomes the interim briefing from the Citizens’ Assembly UK – “Covid-19, recovery and the path to net zero”. 

CREDS welcomes the interim briefing from the Citizens’ Assembly UK – “Covid-19, recovery and the path to net zero”.  Earlier this year, CREDS researchers contributed to the Citizens’ Assembly workshops, presenting evidence to demonstrate how and why energy demand reduction is critical to achieving the UK’s net-zero ambition.

The Citizens’ Assembly briefing recognises that both investment in technology and lifestyle change are will be important if we are to reduce carbon emissions, and the Government’s response to Covid-19 through an economic stimulus package will be critical.

Furthermore, the Assembly members – a representative sample of individuals from across the UK – voted comprehensively in favour of strong, fair measures to support the UK’s transition to a net-zero economy.

CREDS’ Director, Professor Nick Eyre said:

Such a change will need to focus on investment in physical measures that reduce emissions, such as zero-carbon heating systems and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. It also will need to support measures that allow us to use less energy, such as a comprehensive programme to install building insulation, re-imagining household consumption and reallocating road space to pedestrians and cyclists. The evidence indicates that through these measures the goals of creating good jobs and reducing emissions can be combined. We recognise that there will be pressures on Government to support old polluting industries, for example by subsidising airports, road building and oil companies. These will need to be resisted to give priority to supporting the transition of capital, skills and workforce to the industries of the future.

In the UK, the Covid-19 lockdown contributed to a dramatic short-term drop in energy use and carbon emissions, to roughly the level we need if the UK is to meet its net-zero carbon goal. Some of the short-term shifts people have made will need to be made permanent, alongside bringing forward other technologies and changes more quickly.

Banner photo credit: Timon Studler on Unsplash