Expert team to advise Citizens’ Assembly on climate change

Three groups of experts have been appointed to advise the soon-to-be-established Citizens Assembly on climate change, an initiative that has been jointly commissioned by cross-party MPs on six parliamentary committees.

Expert team to advise Citizens’ Assembly on climate change

The new body will be advised by an academic panel, an advisory panel and a group of four “expert leads”, headed by Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change.

Letters are being sent to 30,000 households across the UK inviting people to put themselves forward, and a group of 110 citizens that accurately represent the UK population will then be selected.

The assembly will meet on 24 to 26 January in Birmingham, and at three further sittings, with the outcome of their discussions reported back to Parliament

The assembly will consider how net zero can be achieved by 2050 and make recommendations on what the government, businesses, the public and wider UK society should do to reduce carbon emissions.

The “expert leads” are responsible for ensuring that the information provided to Climate Assembly UK is balanced, accurate and comprehensive, and that discussions are focused on the key decisions facing the UK about net zero.

The four members of the group are:

Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee of Climate Change;

Jim Watson, professor of Energy Policy and Research Director at the UCL Institute of Sustainable Resources;

Lorraine Whitmarsh, professor of Environmental Psychology, University of Cardiff, and director of the UK Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations

Rebecca Willis, professor in Practice, Lancaster University

The advisory panel supports the expert leads in ensuring the accuracy of the information provided to Climate Assembly UK, and provides feedback on key aspects of the assembly’s design, such as who is invited to speak, what they are asked to cover, and the scope of the debate.

The advisory panel has already met on two occasions. Its members are:

Fernanda Balata, New Economics Foundation

Tanisha Beebee, Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

Patrick Begg, National Trust

Allen Creedy, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

Audrey Gallacher, Energy UK

Professor Michael Grubb, University College London (UCL) Institute for Sustainable Resources

Eamonn Ives, Centre for Policy Studies

Ann Jones, National Federation of Women’s Institutes

Ceris Jones, National Farmers Union (NFU)

Chaitanya Kumar, Green Alliance

Kirsten Leggatt, 2050 Climate Group

Matthew Lesh, Adam Smith Institute

Nick Molho, Aldersgate Group

Luke Murphy, Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

Tim Page, Trades Union Congress (TUC)

Doug Parr, Greenpeace

Dr Alan Renwick, Constitution Unit, University College London (UCL)

Dhara Vyas, Citizens’ Advice

Rebecca Williams, RenewableUK

The academic panel will reviews the written briefings created for assembly members . Panel members were chosen on the basis of their expertise on areas of climate change that Parliament and the “expert leads” felt Climate Assembly UK should examine.

Its members are:

Professor Jillian Anable, professor of Transport and Energy, University of Leeds

Professor John Barrett, professor of Energy and Climate Policy, University of Leeds

Professor John Barry, professor of Green Political Economy, Queen’s University Belfast

Professor Jason Chilvers, professor of Environment and Society, University of East Anglia

Professor Nick Eyre, professor of Energy and Climate Policy, University of Oxford

Dr Clair Gough, senior Research Fellow with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester

Dr Rosie Green, assistant Professor in Nutrition and Sustainability, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Jo House, reader in Environmental Science and Policy, University of Bristol

Professor Tahseen Jafry, professor of Climate and Social Justice and Director The Centre for Climate Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University

Professor Carly McLachlan, professor of Climate and Energy Policy, University of Manchester

Professor Dale Southerton, professor in Sociology of Consumption and Organisation, University of Bristol

Professor Benjamin Sovacool, professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex 

Rachel Reeves, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, one of six select committees who commissioned the climate assembly, told the BBC that a clear roadmap was needed to achieve the net zero goal.

“Finding solutions which are equitable and have public support will be crucial. Parliament needs to work with the people and with government to address the challenge of climate change.”


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