On 20 June, six select committees of the House of Commons announced plans to hold a Citizens’ Assembly on combatting climate change and achieving the pathway to net zero carbon emissions.
The committees are: Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Environmental Audit; Housing, Communities and Local Government; Science and Technology; Transport; and Treasury.
The announcement of a Citizens’ Assembly follows the Prime Minister’s commitment to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
The Citizens’ Assembly is designed to explore views on the fair sharing of potential costs of different policy choices and is intended to provide input to future select committee activity and will inform political debate and Government policy making.
The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) recent report highlighted a range of different policy and consumer choices and is likely to form the basis of the Citizens’ Assembly discussions.
The Assembly will take place over a number of weekends in the autumn/winter of 2019. The Citizens’ Assembly will produce a report shortly after the conclusion of the sessions. Committees will be able to use the findings of the Report and take evidence directly from Assembly participants.
The Committees will also be examining ideas to engage public views online on the policies needed to achieve net-zero. The Committees’ work with the Citizens’ Assembly is supported by POST, the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.
The Committees will be seeking a partner(s) to organise and help deliver the Citizens’ Assembly. The successful contractor will work closely with Committee staff and POST on the preparation of background learning materials, the identification of expert and stakeholder speakers, and the topics and questions to be addressed.