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‘Punish people who don’t back Net Zero’

Net Zero

03 April 2020

People who fail to support the law of net zero greenhouse gas emissions should be “identified and penalised”, according to a climate change citizen’s assembly set up by the London Borough of Croydon.

“We want the majority of socially responsible residents supported and recognised for contributions they make,” says the assembly’s position statement. “We also want to see those who let us down identified and penalised.” 

Asked for its views on the statement, a council spokesman told LTT: “The assembly is an independently-run and organised group and was due to report back to the council’s cabinet at the cancelled meeting on 23 March. The report will be bought to cabinet at the next available opportunity.” 

The assembly comprised 42 members of the public and was organised and managed by The Campaign Company.

Croydon appointed an advisory board to ensure assembly members “were provided with information to allow them to deliberate in an informed manner”. 

The four-person board  included Tim Coombe of climate protest group Croydon Extinction Rebellion. Its other members were: Polly Billington – director, UK100 Cities; Shifa Mustafa – Croydon Council’s director of place; and Richard Jackson – director of environmental sustainability at University College London. 

On transport specifically, the assembly concluded: “We are open to the idea of charging people at a reasonable level who have highly polluting cars more, on condition that efforts are made to improve public transport and those who adopt greener solutions (like walking, cycling car sharing and electric vehicles are rewarded). 

“But above all we want to see fewer cars in total on the borough’s roads with shorter journeys [by car] in particular being cut.”

Croydon Council is now working with the New Economics Foundation think tank through a Croydon Climate Crisis Commission. It will advise on actions to cut emissions. The commission  is chaired by Miatta Fahnbulleh, chief executive of the New Economics Foundation.

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