Skip to content

Climate Assembly Parrots Green Party Demands

September 13, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Robin Guenier



A frequent flyer tax, phasing out polluting SUVs and restricting cars in city centres are among climate change solutions suggested by members of the public.

A citizens’ assembly of 108 people from all walks of life published its report after weeks of debate.

They proposed curbing road building and using the pandemic to cut emissions.

MPs said the report offered a "unique insight", but activists Extinction Rebellion said it didn’t go far enough.

The report says the government must show leadership on climate change and insists climate policies must be fair to all – especially the poorest in society.

Its radical conclusions may offer political cover to ministers who’re typically nervous of a public backlash against policies that affect lifestyles.

What have they said?

The members said it was "imperative that there is strong and clear leadership from government” to tackle climate change.

One member, Sue, from Bath, said: “Even with the country still reeling from coronavirus, it’s clear the majority of us feel prioritising net zero policy is not only important, but achievable.”

Hamish, a software engineer from rural Aberdeenshire, told BBC News the government needed "to develop a long-term strategy to help us”.

A key theme of the report is education. Ibrahim, a GP from Surrey, said: “The media has to take a role – schools as well. We perhaps need to look at the curriculum.

“You can’t go to someone and say ‘you need to switch to the hydrogen boiler because it’s low CO2’ but they have no idea [about it]. You’re more likely to get a buy-in from people when they know about the issues.”

Members said the government should start phasing out the sale of polluting new vehicles such as SUVs, and clamp down on adverts for highly-polluting goods.

Another central message is the need for policies to be fair. Amanda, from Kent, said: “Electric cars have to be more affordable to everybody – not just people who earn enough money.”

They also supported higher taxes on frequent fliers, and investment in clean aviation technology.

Tracey, a mother from Northern Ireland, said: “I would be a frequent flier myself – so I would say there needs to be something there to stop us from taking so many flights – to reduce our emissions.”

On the subject of what we eat and how we use the land, the assembly urged a voluntary cut of 20-40% in eating red meat.

“The government can’t legislate against eating red meat," Amanda told us, "but with education, advertising and labelling I think we can change their attitudes towards eating red meat – as we did with smoking."

They also said:

  • Businesses should make products using less energy and materials
  • People should repair goods and share more, instead of owning all their appliances
  • The UK should get more power from offshore and onshore wind, and solar power
  • New housing developments must have good access to facilities through walking and cycling

Most members were not very keen on nuclear – or on burning wood in power stations – and most weren’t confident in carbon capture and storage.

They think the government should be harnessing the Covid crisis to limit support for high-carbon industries.

What’s the reaction been?

The MPs behind the assembly said the report "provides a unique insight into the thinking of an informed public to the trade-offs and changes required to help deliver on the objective that parliament has agreed". They said: "Their work merits action.”

Crispin Truman, from the countryside charity CPRE, said it shows "public appetite to end the UK’s contribution to the climate emergency has far outstripped government action.”

And Tom Burke, from the climate change think tank, e3g, added: “This is a striking tribute to the common sense of the British public. There is a clear lesson for politicians and editors across the political spectrum about the role our citizens are capable of playing in shaping public policy.”

However, radical green group Extinction Rebellion (XR) condemned the proposals as too timid to meet internationally-agreed proposals limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5C. They warned that the report could get buried in government bureaucracy.


Sorry, but this is not how democracy works. Decisions cannot be made by a tiny unelected group of eco-extremists and/or gullible members of the public.

The idea that it shows "public appetite to end the UK’s contribution to the climate emergency is laughable. This is not the public we are talking about, and they would be horrified if they fully realised the path they are being led down.

Some of their recommendations simply do not stack up anyway

A frequent flier tax will make no difference at all to air travel, as most passengers are either business travellers, who will simply add it onto expenses, or very wealthy.

The obsession with SUVs is also potty. I have one, and I get better mpg than my old Mondeo.

Both ideas have the Green Party trademark all over them, and it is easy to see how the climate assembly members have been duped and bullied by the barrage of green propaganda they have faced.

This statement sums up the general walliness of the assembly:

“You can’t go to someone and say ‘you need to switch to the hydrogen boiler because it’s low CO2’ but they have no idea [about it]. You’re more likely to get a buy-in from people when they know about the issues.”

Clearly nobody has told them that hydrogen boilers will triple energy bills, or that hydrogen is not even zero carbon. Neither do they appear to have asked themselves who will pay the estimated cost of £100bn to upgrade the natural gas network and adapt householder appliances.

Another equally inane statement comes from “Amanda”:

“Electric cars have to be more affordable to everybody”

And just how do you intend going about that, Amanda? They don’t exactly grow on trees.

Very telling is this remark:

Most members were not very keen on nuclear

Again, this has the Green Party stamp all over it.

I am especially perplexed by this bit though:

They think the government should be harnessing the Covid crisis to limit support for high-carbon industries.

So, with the economy crashing all around us, these bright sparks suggest we deliberately let viable industries go bust?


The overall impression though is that their proposals will only make a small dent in UK emissions. They have not grasped the real implications of going Net Zero.

  1. September 13, 2020 3:11 pm

    “They proposed curbing road building and using the pandemic to cut emissions. The report says the government must show leadership on climate change.

    It is good to show leadership. Also good to show an understanding of the data.

    • Russ Wood permalink
      September 14, 2020 2:41 pm

      It hasn’t quite sunk in that if road building (or repairing) is ‘curbed’ (as here in South Africa) you end up NEEDING SUVs to handle the potholes!

  2. 2hmp permalink
    September 13, 2020 3:15 pm

    One wonders if the truth about climate science will ever be accepted by substandard politicians who do NOT know what the public think.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 13, 2020 7:39 pm

      Most MPs don’t know what to think: they are told what to think.

  3. Ian Magness permalink
    September 13, 2020 3:21 pm

    “A citizens’ assembly of 108 people from all walks of life published its report after weeks of debate.”
    Debate? Best laugh of the day.
    Funny how nobody I know was asked to be part of this body… In the full version of this article HarryBin tells us why – your prior climate change views were taken into account with regard to the choice of the people. So, rather than get a balanced group who really might have engaged in “debate”, you can just bet that anybody who admitted to strong skeptic views beforehand would have been excluded.

    • September 14, 2020 3:52 am

      Diversity Matters

      You and your skeptical pals mustn’t have been “diverse” enough.

      • September 14, 2020 3:53 am

        P.S. – Diverse enough to be invited to join that group, that is.

      • lorde late permalink
        September 14, 2020 9:36 am

        No, open the door and come in!

      • September 14, 2020 8:37 pm

        Why? I hope you realize that assembly pictured is how I’m imagining the “Climate Assembly.” ….not the skeptics who oppose them.

      • Matt Dalby permalink
        September 16, 2020 11:03 pm

        There is another name for a group of people chosen for their existing views, whose job is to rubber stamp policies presented to them, a Congress of People’s Deputies like they had in the Soviet Union. A citizens assembly may appear to be democracy in action but unless it truly represents all the people it’s actually Marxism in action. We already have an assembly that in theory represents the views of the people, i.e. Parliament. If only our elected representatives would do their job and actually represent the views of the people who elected them the Climate Change Act would have been subjected to proper debate and may not have been passed.

    • September 14, 2020 2:50 pm

      All walks of life?

  4. Coeur de Lion permalink
    September 13, 2020 3:25 pm

    Pathetic and sad. What is the aim? It’s to lower CO2 in the atmosphere so as to control global temperature in 2100. How much does UK produce ? About one point two percent of global. What difference will half a percent reduction make? Oh but we must set an example . Who to? Nobody cares what the U.K. does or thinks. What’s your prediction about the level of atmospheric CO2 in 20 years time? Come on, have a go!!!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 13, 2020 5:47 pm

      No. It’s not to lower CO2 in the atmosphere. That’s the con, and these people are just useful fools.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      September 13, 2020 10:38 pm

      1.2 % of Man Made, which is 4 % of total. Not measurable.

    • September 14, 2020 2:54 pm

      Maybe the real aim is to rid the world of hated fossil fuels with climate thrown in as the reason why we need to get rid of fossil fuels.

    • Rowland P permalink
      September 14, 2020 4:10 pm

      Shades of Colonel Nicholson in the Bridge over the Rive Kwai. After all the wasted energy and expenditure to give a “good example” to the rest of the world, meanwhile bankrupting the country, who will own up and say “What have I done”?

  5. Patsy Lacey permalink
    September 13, 2020 3:47 pm

    They might not be keen on nuclear but it might be that these small nuclear reactors will be the only things between us and rolling power cuts

  6. tom0mason permalink
    September 13, 2020 4:43 pm

    Tax and spend, where have I heard that before?

  7. September 13, 2020 4:46 pm

    It’s democracy that’s at risk here. What else have we ever had a “citizens’ assembly” on? Will we have another on any of their inane suggestions? Politicians need to be held accountable to the popular vote; not their own appointed mouthpieces. Let them put these absurd ideas squarely into the public arena in a manifesto and watch them lose their enthusiasm when the results come through.

  8. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    September 13, 2020 5:23 pm

    I wonder what “frequent flier” means, as in . . .

    Tracey, a mother from Northern Ireland, said: “I would be a frequent flier myself …

    Probably, I don’t qualify as a frequent flier.
    My last ride in an airplane was in October of the year 2000.

    The points are, who decides, and how do they know, and what does it matter?
    (Following Paul here):
    If the cost is personal, but say once or twice a year, it would have to be quite high to dissuade one from a flight.
    If the cost is a business expense and the flyer isn’t responsible, then the cost gets passed on to the general public.
    Either way, the climate won’t care.

    • September 14, 2020 11:55 pm

      It would help if they would supply empirical data which supports the need for and validity of each of these “actions”. Exactly what is taxing people going to achieve except steal money from people and waste it on more asininity…oh and bureaucracy of course….there is never enough of that! If in doubt…TAX!

  9. Harry Passfield permalink
    September 13, 2020 5:38 pm

    Good idea – get rid of SUVs. Snag is, the EU – and therefore, the UK government- ruled that all passsngers in a vehicle have to have their own seat. Where do large families go for transport?

    • JBW permalink
      September 13, 2020 6:22 pm

      A few years ago there were a number of attacks on owners with SUV’s. Come the following winter here in Sussex, the police were begging owners of said SUV’s to help transport their officers into work in the thick snow. I declined their kind invitation.

      • lorde late permalink
        September 14, 2020 9:35 am

        Indeed there is no substitute for big 4×4’s when the going gets tough.I find my landrover better in the snow than my mountain bike.

  10. ianprsy permalink
    September 13, 2020 5:47 pm

    My council’s already well on the way to becoming “Zero Carbon” (they think). As part of their commitment to the policy, all new properties must be fitted with EV charging points. I’ve just commented on a planning application for 93 properties in a non-executive-dwelling part of the borough (ie not in the green belt), where these facilities are to be included in the scope.

    On the basis that very few, if any are likely to be used in the immediate future and, noting the disaster that is smart metering, they may be obsolete before they can be used, the facilities should be initially limited to the barest electrical connections. I’m not holding my breath.

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      September 13, 2020 7:10 pm

      I have this picture in the head of charging boxes fixed outside each flat in a high rise.

    • September 15, 2020 12:10 am

      Rather than virtue signalling the Council should have to show the net cost benefit of this action AND be held accountable in 5 or 10 years if it is simply wasted money. They want to introduce radical change to very conservative systems. Fine, recommend that change but take responsibility for the asininity they are inflicting on others….

      Accountability does not exist in Climate Lalaland so is anyone surprised that the description of the Emperors clothes get more and more elaborate as the maggots try to out virtue signal each other?

      Someone else has to pay the consequences, but oh not them. After all they all “mean well” and are only trying to save the planet when a direct consequence of their collective imbecility is a dire threat to society and our way of life. Supposedly highly educated and influential people are making doom laden claim after doom laden claim or inflicting massive financial burdens onto society which turn out to be complete fools errands. This lunacy will only get worse if there are no consequences for shameful bought scientists and cleverly placed lefties inserted in all the quangos and charities who lecture us daily on things they know nothing about never offering any evidence for what they claim and offering always socialism as the solution. Make them accountable and the silence will be deafening.

      • ianprsy permalink
        September 17, 2020 9:17 am

        Thank you. My position exactly. I’m waiting for the Information Commissioner’s response on my complaint on this issue.

        Fortunately, my borough hasn’t (yet) availed itself of some of the Transport Secretary’s £millions to disrupt the free flow of traffic, unlike Sheffield, which has managed to make a severe traffic problem even worse. Sounds like it’s happening all over the UK, a common theme being “lack of consultation”!

  11. Mad Mike permalink
    September 13, 2020 5:54 pm

    These poor saps are only coming up with their choices between what was put before them. There was no counter opinion offered as speaker, or should I say indoctrinator, after speaker offered them only various aspects of the climate emergency agenda. The choices mentioned are straight out of the Absolute Zero document we saw last year and which has seen scant exposure in MSM even though it was part funded and then given to the Government.

    Here it is in case you missed it.

    Is there any way we can show the 108 people the alternate view and data?

  12. Rowland P permalink
    September 13, 2020 5:57 pm

    Started reading Michael Shellenberger’s book – APOCALYPSE NEVER. Excellent so far.

  13. Gerry, England permalink
    September 13, 2020 6:21 pm

    The sad thing is that it is going to take the icy chill of the coming Grand Solar Minimum to put an end to this nonsense but at the cost of how many lives? Will all the money have been wasted trying to stop the opposite of what it really happening?

  14. David permalink
    September 13, 2020 6:43 pm

    Smashing our carbon based economy to smithereens will cause most hurt to ‘the poorest in our society’

  15. Thomas Carr permalink
    September 13, 2020 6:44 pm

    Citizens Assembly made up from 108 people in all walks of life. Where’s the evidence?
    This was a public meeting. Has a transcription of the debate be made available to the editors of the UK’s serious daily and weekly publications? Was it a debate or just a recital of participants’ views.
    Which MP’s said that the report offered a unique insight? Unique ,yes. Insight, no.
    You would think that the BBC would be alert to the way it is being used to re-cycle press releases from such an assembly of naifs.
    Our time would be better spent speaking to our local MP to see what they actually understand of these issues and how credulous they are when considering the stuff churned out by Tom Burke of e3g — see above.

  16. Ben Vorlich permalink
    September 13, 2020 6:46 pm

    1 “Businesses should make products using less energy and materials”
    They always try and drive down costs, TQM and Value Engineering just a couple of tools when I was working in manufacturing
    2 People should repair goods and share more, instead of owning all their appliances
    Launderettes and The Steamy? Communal Bread Ovens? I tell my sons that there;s no such thing as an unreliable modern car/TV/and most white goods.
    3 The UK should get more power from offshore and onshore wind, and solar power
    No comment required
    4 New housing developments must have good access to facilities through walking and cycling
    No sign of any mass move to walking or cycling to work or the shops

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 14, 2020 9:04 am

      The thing is, nobody is stopping anybody repairing things or sharing. Nobody is forcing people to fly a lot. Nobody is forcing people into cars orcto eat meat. People choose. Politicians and activists convince themselves we make “bad” choices because we don’t choose what they want us to choose. So they blame Murdoch or advertising or lack of cycle lanes or whatever, but the truth is we make our choices reasonably freely. Or at least we used to.

  17. Harry Passfield permalink
    September 13, 2020 7:46 pm

    Where is the ‘minority report’? Bet there isn’t one.

  18. Huw T permalink
    September 13, 2020 7:49 pm

    108 unelected people , all patsies of the green party, reported by Harrabin on the BBC. What a dreadful combination. The worst of all worlds. And the more I see of what going on around me ,the more concerned I am that these lunatics might actually get their way. We need to fight this dangerous movement of green zealotry. The government seems to be going along with it together with virtually all the other political parties and the whole media does not even want to discuss the issues involved. It seems to be “green up” or die. We need some form of active opposition to this thing before it is too late and we find ourselves living in a green dystopia.

  19. Tim Spence permalink
    September 13, 2020 8:20 pm

    “Tracy, a mother from Northern Ireland” doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.
    What about ‘Karen, a curtain twitcher from Kirklees?”, she surely has the lowdown on all matters scientificky.

  20. I_am_not_a_robot permalink
    September 13, 2020 10:46 pm

    Citizens’ assembly sounds like the early Russian ‘soviet’ or council and relies on collectivist governance instead of an individual secret ballot.
    To get some idea of how collectivism works watch the film The Angry Silence (1960).
    “… the average temperature of a British home rose approximately 5C between 1970 and 2010. A whole generation has grown up considering it a basic human right to inhabit the home in little more than underwear … the trend’s not helpful for a government …”.
    To an outsider that quote from Roger Harrabin is a symptom of how far the Overton window is shifting in the UK from the legal maxim: ‘an Englishman’s house is his castle’.
    Amanda: “The government can’t legislate against eating red meat”, not yet.

  21. Mad Mike permalink
    September 13, 2020 11:01 pm

    “Amanda: “The government can’t legislate against eating red meat”, not yet.”

    Too right but if you get farmers to stop producing red meat by making unprofitable you certainly can.

  22. johnd2008 permalink
    September 14, 2020 3:52 am

    Perhaps the Government could start the greening process by banning the members of the forum from using anything which generates CO2 in its manufacture.You know, get them to lead by example. They can come back in 5 years and let us know if it works.

  23. September 14, 2020 6:00 am

    Yes sir. There is a lot of parroting in this science to the point that non parroting can be described as unscientific.

  24. lorde late permalink
    September 14, 2020 9:32 am

    just sounds like the normal left wing diatribe against people who have worked hard and bettered themselves.still we will all be living in poverty the way the world is going so not all bad.

  25. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 14, 2020 10:37 am

    Another climate propaganda story handed to every MSM outlet to parrot without question, or in the case of the BBC, probably sex up too.

    The language is ridiculous. “warmth shatters” “attacked” etc.

    This is a perfectly normal process at the termination of an ice stream flowing off into the sea – Spalte is actually an arm of a larger flow where it is split at a promontory, which will obviously cause immense pressure and regular breakup.

    It actually fractured in 2016, and it was only a matter of time.

    If you pause the 2016 video at the right point you can just see that the termination of the other arm is more or less unchanged from the first picture in the BBC article.

    I’d bet Spalte will begin to extend again over the next few years, before breaking up again!

    • I_am_not_a_robot permalink
      September 14, 2020 11:08 pm

      “The atmosphere in this region has warmed by about 3C since 1980”.
      I would call that statement a half-truth: “a statement that conveys only part of the truth, especially one used deliberately in order to mislead someone” (Oxford).
      1979-1980 was around the lowest point in the temperature record of the Arctic so far:

      As I was taught at school many years ago glaciers are very slow moving frozen rivers and calving at open sea outlets is inevitable whatever the atmospheric temperature.

  26. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 14, 2020 12:54 pm

    A not very bright contribution from Bright Blue

    ‘The only way that we have a chance of cutting carbon emissions sufficiently quickly without harming the fabric of our society and our way of life is to decarbonise extremely quickly. We need to electrify practically everything that can be.’ #BeyondThatcher

    Are they starting with their office chairs?

  27. September 14, 2020 9:16 pm

    Climate Assembly = The Parliament of Karens

  28. September 15, 2020 12:28 am

    Why 108? Why not 107 or 109? What is the point of this number in all of this? The whole concept stinks. “Citizens Assembly” to give the group false authority and look we already have toady MPs oooing and aaahing over the pointless pontificating that dribbles from their mouths. We have enough of “councils” and assemblies of unelected people talking on airs and graces and being used as political battering rams.

    Here is the way to deal with this. Why not have a referendum and ask ALL the British people? I think there is still time before the brainwahsed youth become a substantial enough number I think it will found that the barnpots that the PC BBC and the Grauniad pretend are the majority will show themselves to be no more than 10% of the votes cast and definitely less than 20%

    Give us a referendum rather than this sham of weak minded and pointless Tracys and Sharons and then we can be done with all this nonsense and get back to dealing with REAL problems like adults rather than the imaginary ones the adolescents of the Left have heaped on the table. As for Boris, he seems caught like a rabbit in headlights. Time someone read out to him what the Conservative Party supposedly stands for.

  29. ianprsy permalink
    September 16, 2020 7:00 pm

    Thw Spectator seems to think that the panel is made up of normal people:

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: