Just a day after the chief executive of the Climate Change Committee, Chris Stark, argued that much of the recent criticism of the UK’s net zero plans were “defeatist”, the influential Institute for Government (IfG) think tank today published a new report reiterating how the net zero transition would prove “possible, valuable, and transformative”. However, while Stark yesterday suggested there had not been enough “debate” around the UK’s net zero plans and that it had been a mistake not to stage a Parliamentary vote on the adoption of the latest medium term emissions target, the IfG similarly warned the government was failing to adequately consult and involve citizens in the design of policies that will drive the UK’s transition to a net zero emission economy, despite public consent being a critical element to the success of its decarbonisation agenda. The research, which was undertaken with charity Involve concluded the government’s net zero policies must aim to encourage the active participation of the public if the UK is to meet its emissions goals. It has now been a year since the first UK-wide citizens assembly delivered its final report to Parliament, offering policy makers a snapshot of the level of public support for a broad range of climate policies. But despite the exercise being praised by Ministers, Parliament, and civil society alike, the government is yet to build on the exercise or set out how it plans to further engage citizens with the elements of the net zero transition that will impact their everyday lives, the report warns. There are a number of ways the government could engage the public with net zero policy design, the paper explains, from participatory forms of engagement such as co-production, crowdsourcing, and participatory budgeting to deliberative forms of engagement centred around dialogue, such as citizens’ assemblies, citizens’ juries, and community conversation exercises.
Business Green 3rd Sept 2021 read more »
Public engagement and net zero. How government should involve citizens in climate policy making.
Institute for Government 3rd Sept 2021 read more »