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Cross-party commission unveils blueprint to take UK to net zero as it warns fairness is key to winning public support - IPPR

Wide-ranging plans to decarbonise the UK economy, repair nature and build a fairer society are unveiled today in a major report that argues for a new approach to achieving net zero and protecting our natural world.

In a direct challenge to those ‘climate delayers’ who would argue that the net zero transition will harm the poorest, the commission argues that ambitious action on climate and nature can and must be delivered in a way that also improves people’s everyday lives.

After 18 months of deliberation involving hundreds of hours of discussion by citizens across areas of the UK likely to be most impacted by the transition, the IPPR Environmental Justice Commission is calling for fairness and people to be put at the heart of the drive to hit national targets for net-zero carbon emissions and the restoration of nature.

Without such a prospect, the commission warns, the public could wield an effective “veto” on delivering net zero.

Uniquely, the commission was informed and driven to its recommendations by a series of ‘citizens juries’ drawn from different walks of life, including people who had never been engaged in climate change discussions. These were held in four areas likely to be most impacted by the move to net zero - Tees Valley and County Durham, the South Wales Valleys, Thurrock (Essex) and Aberdeenshire - ensuring that people from communities with most at stake were fully heard.

The commission’s report, Fairness and Opportunity: A people-powered plan for the green transition, says that the UK is failing to ensure that the costs and benefits of the transition to net zero will be fairly shared. It also says the government has no coherent plan to make the most of the opportunities presented by this fundamental change in the country’s economic model.

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