Lancaster District People's Jury on climate change publishes its report

The Lancaster District People’s Jury has released its report on what more needs to be done locally to effectively tackle climate change.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 15th October 2021, 9:11 am
The People's Jury. Photo taken pre-Covid.

The jury, convened by Lancaster City Council following its declaration of a climate emergency, saw 30 citizens from across the Lancaster district come together to discuss how the area can combat one of the biggest issues facing the world today.

Facilitated by non-profit Shared Future CIC on the council’s behalf, the jury ran for more than 16 sessions.

Jury members were selected to reflect the diversity of the population and gathered their evidence by listening to and questioning a range of expert commentators.

The question they were asked to answer was ‘what do we need to do in our homes, neighbourhoods and district to respond to the emergency of climate change?’

Members of the jury shared ideas and deliberated on the issues before developing a set of recommendations.

These included:

*Local schools must educate young people about climate change / emission reduction

*The council should frame all of its work in the context of the climate emergency, and act accordingly, as it has in response to Covid-19.

*Work should take place with local partners to reduce waste from households and businesses

*The council should support the sustainable food place partnership and sign up to the Good Food Cities global declaration

*There should be a strong campaign to convince people to take action

*Incentives should be introduced to help local producers and growers so their produce is easily available and well promoted

*More needs to be done to tackle food waste, including the introduction of recycling collections

*It should be easier for people to grow their own food and more land should be made available for this purpose

*Ensure that all new housing has at least one green energy supply

*Make it easier for people to not use cars and encourage them to cycle and walk

The People's Jury also said in the report that they wanted to stay involved in a scrutiny role and receive regular report backs on progress.

In a collective statement in the report, the jury said: "We are facing a climate emergency which makes us concerned and worried about the future.

"We have heard from a range of experts and we now believe that if we take immediate action, we have the tools and the hope that we can address this emergency.

"We believe that the only suitable response will be one that brings many organisations and individuals together to work collectively and not separately. This is bigger than Lancaster.

"We recognise that many difficult decisions lie ahead but that we must act immediately and not allow a quest for perfection to get in the way of making progress. We need to take action today, not in 30 years’ time. A journey starts with a small step which all of us can achieve.

"The people of the Lancaster district need to see confident leadership, positive changes made and a clear plan for the future.

"Our city and county councils must accept that progressive change to fight the climate change emergency will have financial implications. Not being able to fund the recommendations we have listed here is no reason for inaction as money won't matter in a world that won't exist as we know it.

"The response to the climate emergency needs to be one that moves away from politicians making all the decisions but instead reaches out to the wider public and communities for ideas of how to achieve our recommendations. It's time for our councils to listen to the people of Lancaster and district and take action now, leading the way to make changes in response to this emergency’."

Coun Kevin Frea, Lancaster City Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, said: “Tackling the devastating impact of climate change is at the heart of all the council’s policies and significant progress is being made in meeting our ambitious target of making the council’s activities net zero by 2030.

“However, the council’s own emissions are only a small part of the picture. We need to involve every member of our community to achieve a similar target for the whole district, which we have started to do with the People’s Jury.

“I’d like to thank every single member of the jury, the experts who delivered the presentations, and all those involved in the process for their hard work.

“The jury’s recommendations are an important contribution that will prove invaluable to our thinking and are helping to shape our response to the climate emergency.”

For a copy of the full report, click here.