The UK’s first national Climate Assembly kicks off this weekend, and mySociety have played a small part in its logistics, building the website which will enable everyone to follow along with the proceedings.
The Assembly will bring together 110 randomly selected citizens representing the UK population in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, education, location and views on the climate, to take in balanced evidence from experts and then agree what needs to be put in place to achieve net zero carbon emissions for the country by 2050.
From Saturday, you’ll be able to watch a livestream of the Assembly as it progresses in Birmingham. The site also provides information on how the Assembly has been set up and who is involved — and afterwards will act as a permanent home for videos and transcripts of the presentations and the conclusions the Assembly comes to.
While we manage the website, the actual Assembly is being run by Involve, and will take place over four weekends. The Sortition Foundation are responsible for recruiting a representative set of people. The end product of the Assembly will be a report, containing the recommendations that have been agreed by the assembly members. This will go back to the six select committees who commissioned the Assembly, in the hope of informing parliamentary legislation — and you’ll also be able to see it on the website once it’s completed.
FYI, I sent the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope the selected delegates find time to discuss the issue. Thank you for organising the assembly.
Dear Climate Assembly,
As the BBC’s PM programme has made abundantly clear, tree planting is a key ingredient in the fight against climate change, and the sooner and faster afforestation occurs the better. However, it takes 10 years for trees to reach their most productive stage of carbon capture. There is another method of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere which has existed since 2015: Direct Air Capture (DAC), an industrial process developed in Canada (for details see, https://carbonengineering.com/our-technology/). The extraction cost at scale is approximately £76 (US$100) per ton of CO2. At present we annually add some 40 billion tons of CO2 to the Earth’s atmosphere (source of figure, https://slate.com/technology/2014/08/atmospheric-co2-humans-put-40-billion-tons-into-the-air-annually.html). Removing one year’s worth of CO2 using DAC would therefore cost about £3 trillion (US$4 trillion). For comparison, last year the world’s total wealth was £241tn (US$317tn) (source of figure, https://qz.com/1501511/the-world-generated-14-trillion-in-wealth-last-year-heres-the-story-in-five-charts/).
Using DAC now at scale would not only halt climate change (buying us time until all the trees we need are planted and emissions have reached net-zero), it could also reverse the climate emergency, taking us back towards a safer level of atmospheric CO2.
Perhaps you could consider this option in your assembly.
The Assembly will hear from a number of experts, who you can see listed here: https://www.climateassembly.uk/detail/expertleads/. There’s also an advisory panel: https://www.climateassembly.uk/detail/advisorypanel/ and an academic panel: https://www.climateassembly.uk/detail/academicpanel/.
They’ve been preparing their input for some time and I am sure they will have considered the merit of all the various scientific approaches.
If we are running out of time and it is such an emergency it is a pity the bloody assembly broadcast still has not started. 10 minutes late and counting.
The bigger questions are …
-what facts, potential solutions and difficulties were presented to participants?
– what is the framework for a so called structured process to agree the best path to net zero carbon for the country?.
Without clarity on these issues there can only be lots of doubt about the efficacy of methods and useful of any results.
You can see for yourself by watching the videos or reading the transcripts on the Assembly website. https://www.climateassembly.uk/meetings/january-24/agenda/
Note that only the first weekend has happened, but you can see a run-down of when the other parts of the Assembly will go ahead here https://www.climateassembly.uk/meetings/.
We’re just running the website, so we can’t help with this sort of issue, but since you have sent your email to the correct address, I am sure you will get a response.