The 2008 Climate Change Act committed the UK to a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 80% by 2050, with 1990 as the baseline. This legally-binding target is unique and sets the UK on a highly ambitious decarbonisation path over the coming four decades.
From 2010-11, to explore public attitudes towards how the UK could meet these targets, the Department of Energy and Climate Change commissioned a three-strand public engagement programme. These strands were: a Youth Panel, three local deliberative dialogues designed and managed by Ipsos-MORI and Involve, and also the 2050 Pathways Calculator which was used with over 10,000 members of the public. This interactive tool enables experts and the public to understand the scale of the challenge, the trade-offs involved, explore and test their own preferred solutions, and translate these into action in their own lives and communities.
This tool was also used to inform conversation as 86 participants took part in deliberative dialogues, across three locations: Ulverston, London, and Nottingham. Participants were a mixture of local councillors, representatives of business, NGOs, and the voluntary sector, and other elected representatives. They were able to try out the 2050 Calculator, engage in group discussions, and attempt to finalise a pathway on the Calculator that they would like to see implemented. These deliberative dialogues took place alongside a separately run Youth Panel and serious games interface used to survey larger scale public opinion.
The pathways chosen by participants informed Government decision-making. The outcomes formed a key part of the debate around the UK’s carbon targets and the low carbon economy. Results taken from the Calculator and the deliberative dialogues provided useful evidence in support of the common themes identified via the 2050 Pathways Calculator2.
This dialogue commissioned by DECC, conducted by Ipsos MORI and Involve and was evaluated by OPM.