UK to hand power to the people in climate fight

No sooner has The UK’s new Prime Minister taken the role than she announced that the future strategy to tackle climate change would be handed over to the public.

Liz Truss has revealed plans for a “Citizens’ Assembly” to fix climate and costs in what she described as a “decisive move to mark a new era of leadership on the climate crisis and the cost of living crisis”.

The announcement comes following a summer of record breaking climate impacts and a deepening cost of living crisis.

Liz Truss said: “I am delighted to announce the start of a new chapter in our great nation’s illustrious history. The United Kingdom led the world into the Industrial Revolution, and what we are launching today will ensure we blaze a trail out of it, onto new and numerous opportunities.

“As the world faces undeniable climate, energy and cost-of-living challenges, Britain’s low-carbon leadership will deliver green and pleasant – and profitable – pastures that will be the envy of the world, and a blueprint for the entire globe.

“Innovation starts at home. We know that British brains are the best in the world, so we’re bringing Britain back together in a world-leading project: we’re putting the popular back into politics and letting the people decide together what to do about the climate – and the cost of living.

“For too long our great country has been at the beck and call of faceless, fearful, bureaucrats. Making decisions about our lives, about our loved-ones futures. That ends today.

“Today, we are saying that great Britons the length and breadth of the country are the right people to decide how our wonderful country should stride into its next glorious era.

“That’s why I am proud today to announce the largest, most far-reaching Citizens’ Assembly on Climate and Costs yet seen. Building on what we learned in our 2020 Climate Assembly, we will be more ambitious, moving further and faster into a world where we conserve our valuable resources for the benefit of everyone.”

What is clear is that while on the face of it the Truss administration is keen to give the public a chance to decide the direction of travel, businesses and insurers in particular will be charged with playing a significant role in the creation of the vehicle which will deliver what the assembly will decide.

Given there is much talk that the Conservatives are likely to scrap the bank on fracking and with calls from Offshore Energies UK to invest in the extraction of oil and gas alongside new wind projects the risks both political and physical will increase dramatically in the months to come. The challenge for the UK government is to drive climate mitigation efforts whilst enhancing energy security, which is almost certain to include the use of fracking and enhance E&P of oil and gas as the two are uneasy bedfellows to say the least.

The question for the financial services sector is how they will be expected to meet their ESG targets whilst potentially being asked to cover rising numbers of fossil fuel projects.

Jon Guy, Editor

Emerging Risks