On 16th February 2021 IPPR has launched the findings of its first citizens jury on climate and nature, in Tees Valley and County Durham, as part of the work of the cross-party Environmental Justice Commission.
The report and recommendations, in the words of the jurors, highlight the strong desire of the public to participate in decision-making on the transition as well as for public information campaigns and widespread education. There is also a strong emphasis on devolution – so that local places can tailor plans according to their needs – and the need for long-term commitment and funding from central government.
There is also an overwhelming focus on fairness, and the need to ensure the poorest don’t lose out and actually benefit from the transition. They want big polluters to make the biggest contributions but also want to see businesses supported and incentivised to transition. The jurors connection with nature and the desire for greater access, preservation and restoration of nature in their local area was particularly striking, suggesting that the role of nature is underplayed in the national debate.
Finally, there is clear appetite for bold ideas and policies but they want to see them benefit their everyday lives.