The Copeland People’s Panel on Climate Change began in July 2021, organised by Copeland Borough Council.
The council wanted the citizens’ jury to guide it and partner organisations on what their priorities should be as they work towards their ambition of becoming a net zero carbon district.
There were thirty residents from Copeland on the panel, who met about ten times over the summer of 2021. They heard presentations from a range of experts, and they shared and discussed their own views and opinions with each other, before making recommendations for actions to address the climate emergency.
The jury was funded jointly by the council and the National Lottery through the Zero Carbon Cumbria Programme. It was run by Shared Future.
An oversight panel was also set up to support the people’s panel. It was made of people from different walks of life in the district – from community groups to councils and businesses. Having these influential people involved in the process would help to encourage implementation of the recommendations of the people’s panel.
How the jury members were chosen
The Sortition Foundation sent 6,000 letters to randomly selected addresses across the borough, asking the residents if they’d be interested in being on the people’s panel. They then selected 30 people, making sure they reflected the diversity of the local population – in terms of demographics (like age and gender, for example), but also reflecting the range of opinions on climate change.
If you’d like to know more about how the jury was selected and recruited, visit the council’s website.
The Copeland People’s Panel on Climate Change published its recommendations in November 2021.
Here’s a summary of what the panel recommended:
- Copeland becoming a centre for excellence for green jobs, skills and training for both our young people and adults, led by the Council in partnership with local expertise.
- Copeland having a robust plan that responds directly to our recommendations.
- Cumbria having an overall transport policy that addresses climate change urgently and with enthusiasm.
- Copeland having a clear strategy for all properties in Copeland to be carbon neutral by 2037.
- Having a vision, a plan and significant investment in renewable energy for Copeland.
- Community ownership of energy generation wherever possible.
- Having a plan (with time scales) for an ambitious, integrated, regular and affordable public transport system.
- Having supermarkets and shops to start selling local and seasonal produce.
- Developing a coherent strategy to enhance climate change education in all schools and education/training centres.
- Having a network of climate change communication champions should be developed and supported throughout Copeland.
- Council working with the college, community groups etc. and liaise with or commission a local person or group to review social media content and circulate information which is relevant to the local area, specifically linking with younger people in Copeland who are active on social media.
- Making recycling mandatory in residential, commercial and public spaces/premises.
- Ensuring that future road builing or widening schemes take into account whether the purpose of these plans fits in with the climate change agenda.
- Making Copeland plastic bag free by 2023.
- Working with the hospitality sector to reduce its carbon impact.
- Making it easier for people to cycle as much as possible.
- Having a public consultation process (with youth groups, schools, and representative communities, businesses etc. including a number of dedicated sessions for members of the Peoples’ Panel) delivered by impartial parties to give information about the energy and carbon potentials of nuclear power.
- Making it as easy as possible for people not to use their cars.
- Reducing car journeys to schools.
- Making Cumbria ready to implement a hydrogen (fuel) strategy.
Want to read more about what the jury said? Download the full report
Watch presentations to the people’s panel
The Copeland People’s Panel on Climate Change heard from people with expertise on different aspects of climate change. You can watch some of the presentations:
Session 1: Introduction by Mayor Mike Starkie & Councillor Andy Pratt
Session 2: What is climate change? Dr. Cat Scott from the School of Earth & Environment, Leeds University and Dr. Paul Young from the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University
Session 3: Where are emissions coming from in Copeland? Charlie Rogers, Small World Consulting, and Steve Hardy, Environment Director, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)
Session 4: How can change happen? Simon Kaye, Senior Researcher, New Local
Session 5 – Transport
- Part 1: Alistair Kirkbride, Sustainable Transport Adviser, Foundation for Integrated Transport and Kate Willshaw, Policy Officer, Friends of the Lake District
- Part 2: Richard Ingham, Bicycle Mayor of Cumbria
- Part 3: Councillor Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Cumbria County Council
Session 7 – Behaviour change
- Part 1: Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, University of Bath
- Part 2: Luke Murphy, Associate Director for the Energy, Climate, Housing and Infrastructure Team, Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)
- Part 3: Karen Mitchell, Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS)
Session 8 – Energy
- Part 1: Phil Davies, Low Carbon Communities Development Manager, Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS)
- Part 2: Mike Osborne, Director of Arup
Copeland Youth Panel
More than sixty young people from Copeland district shared their ideas on climate change with people and organisations across Cumbria.
Young people are highly aware of the threat to their futures from climate change yet are rarely able to influence the ‘gatekeepers’ of climate emissions – those decision makers in Cumbria whose strategies and plans can most affect our carbon emissions. The youth panel was designed to give them a voice and influence.
Aged from 11 to 19 years old, the young people took part in workshop sessions in Whitehaven during summer 2021. They identified their vision for their local area and then explored the issue of climate change and carbon emissions. The panel was organised by Cumbria Action for Sustainability. The workshops were designed and led by youth workers in Seascale, Millom, Frizington, Cleator Moor, Distington and Mirehouse and Woodhouse, alongside Shared Future.
The youth panel ran in tandem with the Copeland People’s Panel on Climate Change. The young people presented the outcomes of their sessions to the People’s Panel just before it drafted its recommendations. Hearing from the young people had a significant effect on the panel, with the final recommendations echoing what many of them had said.
The outcomes of the youth group discussions have also been presented more widely and directly to key decision makers across Cumbria through the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership.
What the youth panel said
The young people of Copeland want to see better, more affordable and reliable public transport, electric cars and charge points and walking and cycling encouraged, along with more recycling.
They want more solar and wind turbines and energy efficiency improvements at home. They want their local environment to be cleaned up and they want more jobs, especially low carbon jobs, with training.
Find out more about the youth group process and read their findings in full.