'Chuffed to be chosen': participants attend first UK climate assembly

(The Guardian, 27 Jan 2020) Sir David Attenborough thanked the 110 people gathered in Birmingham for giving up their time.

On the 16th floor of Birmingham’s Park Regis hotel, glass walls provide sweeping views of the city skyline, along with a long backlog of cars on the motorway outside – but transport is just one of many issues the 110 people gathered here will have to grapple with as they decide how the UK should respond to the climate crisis.

People travelled from all over the country for the first meeting of the UK climate assembly on Saturday. Over four weekends they will discuss a range of issues with experts and decide on a set of recommendations for how the government can reach its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Assembly member Leia, 20, from Darlington, said giving up her time for the cause was an easy decision to make: “You don’t get an opportunity to influence government policy very often and climate change is really important.”

Another participant, Amanda, 56, a healthcare project manager from Kent, said: “I was really chuffed to be chosen. There were some things which I didn’t know about that I’ve learned today, which is really interesting, but I’ve always been quite green.”

Invitations to the assembly were sent out to 30,000 households chosen at random, and of the over 1,500 people who responded asking to be considered, 110 were selected by a computer to be representative of society. There’s a mix of ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds and education levels, but also a range of views about the climate crisis.

External link

The Guardian, 27 Jan 2020: 'Chuffed to be chosen': participants attend first UK climate assembly