A leading academic from Glasgow Caledonian University has input into a report looking at how the UK can meet the Government’s legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. 

The report, entitled The Path to Net Zero and published today, is the result of a citizens’ assembly.

In June last year, a group of cross-party MPs formed the citizens’ assembly to gain an understanding of public preferences on how the UK should tackle climate change, because of the impact these decisions will have on people’s lives. The 110 participants were selected from different walks of life, shades of opinion, and from throughout the UK to form a representative sample of the UK’s population.

Professor Tahseen Jafry, director of GCU’s Centre for Climate Justice, joined participants as part of an academic panel, to discuss the actions required to achieve the net zero target, and explored changing the way we heat our homes, what we buy and how we travel, among other issues.

She said: “The overriding response was that more needs to be done to inform and educate citizens on reducing carbon emissions – and that this reduction needs to be done with fairness in mind in terms of UK regions and people’s income.

“In terms of next steps, we look forward to receiving feedback from the UK Government on how some of these recommendations can be taken forward.”

Welcoming the publication of the report, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, Darren Jones MP, said: “This is an extremely important contribution to the debate on how the UK reaches our net zero target and I hope it gives impetus to policy makers to take bold action to reduce our emissions. The range of voices within these pages reflect our population. The fact that assembly members have been able to arrive at clear recommendations whilst respecting each others’ values and experiences sets an example for us all.”