Between November 2020 and February 2021, 30 local residents, selected by a process called sortition to give a group that was representative for the district, met to learn about the climate crisis from experts. After the 10 sessions, the participants decided which actions should be a priority in Warwick District and presented these as a recommendation to the District Council (which declared a climate emergency in 2019).
The top recommendation was to “promote and encourage more people to take up cycling in the district” through a number of measures. As transport is a key source of carbon emissions, and car journeys are undoubtedly increasing locally due to the level of housing development in the area - resulting in increased air and noise pollution and traffic congestion - it's no surprise that this was considered so important. Nearly half of the participants placed this action in their top 5!
The second recommended action related to housing, a key source of carbon emissions through heating, lighting and cooking. The participants of the inquiry recommended that “every new house must be carbon neutral both in construction and in their future use”. A third of them placed this action in their top 5.
In third place was the recommendation to undertake “a coordinated and collaborative communications campaign to encourage everyone to take action and make lifestyle changes”. Without the kind of understanding that the participants developed over the 10 weeks of the inquiry, it will be hard to make the types of changes that are needed locally to help us to address our contribution to the climate crisis.
To read more about the People's Climate Inquiry go to: https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/info/20468/sustainability_and_climate_change/1636/warwick_district_people_s_climate_change_inquiry
The full list of recommendations and the jury statement that was supported by most members of the group is on the 3rd page: https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/info/20468/sustainability_and_climate_change/1636/warwick_district_people_s_climate_change_inquiry/3