Bristol academics join Climate Assembly Panel

January 29 2020

As the UK’s first citizens’ assembly on climate change prepares to meet for the first time at the end of January, the two panels of stakeholders and researchers helping to ensure the balance and accuracy of the assembly have been announced.
This includes Professor Dale Southerton and Dr Jo House from the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute for the Environment who are part of a 13-strong academic panel of researchers who are focused on areas of climate change that the assembly will consider.
Dale Southerton, Acting Director of the Cabot Institute and Professor of Consumption and Organisation in the School of Economics, Finance and Management, said: “The University of Bristol was the first university in the UK to declare a climate emergency, where we are leading the way with achieving net zero by 2030.
“This means we can offer advice to the government based on our own carbon-cutting experiences and can also utilise the collective knowledge of our academics at the Cabot Institute for the Environment who are working at the forefront of climate change research.”
Dr Jo House, Bishopston resident and a reader in Environmental Policy Science and Policy in Bristol’s School of Geographical Sciences, added: “This could be one of the most important things I get to do this year.  It’s a great opportunity and responsibility to share knowledge with members of the public given a mandate to influence policy that could result in real change.
“A lot of people in Bishopston are already very well informed. This is about informing yourself with knowledge to take individual actions and putting pressure on local government and industry to make plans.
“We are talking about major transformation change - doing things in a different way. We can use alternative means of travel, eat in a different way and switch to renewable energy tariffs.”
Climate Assembly UK was commissioned by six cross-party House of Commons Select Committees in summer 2019 in response to the Government’s commitment to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Climate Assembly UK will meet for the first time at the end of January and will have three further weekend meetings before the end of March.
The 110 assembly members 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.
During each weekend Members will consider a range of climate-focused topics including transport, energy use in the home, agriculture and consumer choices. The talks will be live streamed on Facebook giving listeners a wide range of ideas about what they can do themselves to reduce emissions.
Both Dr House and Professor Southerton are engaging actively with Bristol City Council on developing their climate strategy 2030 targets through her role as Chair of the Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change and his role on the One City Environmental Sustainability Board.