Energy Saving Trust’s approach to supporting the transition to a net zero carbon emission society is that solutions must begin with engaging people, we therefore welcome today’s final report from the UK’s Climate Assembly.
The report is a rare insight into the views of the UK public. Made up of 108 members representative of the UK population, the Climate Assembly sat for 60 hours listening and deliberating about the choices and trade-offs involved for different carbon saving options. We are pleased to see the balanced set of recommendations the Climate Assembly have produced, which we believe will give policy makers confidence to take the bold actions necessary to get us on track to net zero.
The key themes echoed throughout the report are very strong support for:
- Government to lead and take the actions necessary.
- The importance of information and education (for all of society) as ‘essential for buy-in to the changes that are needed’.
- The need for fairness for all
- Choice (both for individuals and local areas) – though not at the expense of taking the steps necessary.
On homes, there is very strong backing for developing local approaches to heat decarbonisation (89%) and for information and support funded by government (83%) as well as strong support for phasing out sales of new gas boilers from 2030/35, minimum energy efficiency standards in homes and improved product standards.
Energy Saving Trust supports all these points.
On transport, Energy Saving Trust agrees with the report acknowledging that travel is a basic freedom and low carbon travel should be fairly apportioned across society and not just available to the rich. Transport should be “affordable and accessible to all sections of society”. Strong support for government to act to ‘quickly stop selling the most polluting vehicles’ (86 percent of the (108) assembly members backed it) – including for moving the phase out date for petrol/diesel fuelled cars to 2030- 2035. Investment in public transport and active travel is a high priority in encouraging behaviour change away from the reliance on cars.
Additionally, there is also strong support from the Assembly for more incentives and advice for businesses and people to make the right choices in all their travel, including in choosing low carbon modes of travel for both domestic and international travel. Again this accords with Energy Saving Trust’s view.