Former Leader of Mid Devon District Council (MDDC) Clive Eginton, who lives in Chawleigh and represents Chawleigh and Lapford on MDDC, has welcomed the positive action by Mel Stride MP through Climate Assembly UK (www.climateassembly.uk) to help the UK reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Cllr Eginton said:
"It is very good to see Mel fighting hard on the vital issue of climate change and he is right that public engagement will be key to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It needs to be a collective effort from every tier of Government and without the public on side with what the Government and local councils are trying to do, we won’t get there."
Below is a copy of a letter Mel wrote to the Prime Minister on Tuesday, co-signed by five other House of Commons committee chairs.
Climate Assembly UK: Interim briefing on Covid-19 and the Path to Net Zero
23 June 2020
Dear Prime Minister,
The UK’s first national citizens’ assembly on climate change has now completed its work. Today it is publishing an interim briefing on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting lockdown and the economic response for the path to net zero. The participants wanted their views on the recovery from Covid-19 to be published ahead of the final report, to help inform Parliament and Government’s response to the crisis.
We agree with your aspiration to “build back better” and create a “greener and more resilient” economy in the wake of the pandemic. The view of assembly members, having considered evidence on the path to net zero, is clear. 79% want the steps taken by Government to help the economy recover to be designed to help achieve net zero. And specifically, on lifestyles, 93% want steps to be taken to encourage those to be more compatible with reaching net zero as lockdown eases.
The interim briefing will be used as evidence by the Committee on Climate Change in its upcoming Progress Report to Parliament. Climate Assembly UK’s much more detailed main body of work, on the path to achieving the UK’s target of net zero emissions by 2050, will be published after the summer recess.
The assembly members were selected to be representative of the UK population across all four nations, a broad range of demographic characteristics, and levels of concern about climate change. Together they provide a unique insight into the views of an informed, representative sample of the UK population on the pathway to, and trade-offs associated with, achieving net zero. The final weekend of discussions was conducted online during the lockdown and allowed the members to consider the response to coronavirus.
It is vital that achieving the UK’s net zero target, which has unanimous cross-party support, is a joint endeavour between the Government, Parliament and the public across the country. In recent months the UK public has demonstrated its capacity to respond positively and responsibly when they understand the risks posed to them by an invisible threat that demands collective action. We believe that a similar approach, based on securing public support for ambitious policies through open dialogue around the science, is a sound basis for the net zero journey.
We are very grateful to the 108 assembly members for completing their work in difficult circumstances. Our Committees will use their findings to inform our work scrutinising Government 2 of 2 policy and implementation. We are sure that the Government will want to take them into account when developing policies and explaining them to Parliament.
We look forward to sharing the final report and working constructively with Government to achieve net zero.
Rt Hon Mel Stride MP Chair, Treasury Committee
Clive Betts MP Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
Rt Hon Greg Clark MP Chair, Science & Technology Committee
Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP Chair, Environmental Audit Committee
Darren Jones MP Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
Huw Merriman MP Chair, Transport Committee