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Reaching Britain’s climate target must be fair for all – Climate Assembly

FILE PHOTO: Electric cars charge on a street in London, Britain, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s first citizen’s assembly on climate change called on the government on Thursday to ensure moves to meet the country’s climate targets are fair, with public transport made cheaper and taxes for those flying the most and furthest.

Britain last year became the first major economy to set a climate target to meet net zero emissions by 2050, which will require changes in the way Britons eat, travel and use electricity.

The Climate Assembly was established by the government in 2019 to gather views on how best to meet the goal and to consider the impact on the public. It was made up of 108 citizens from across the UK with a wide range of backgrounds.

Moves to get people to eat less meat and dairy should be voluntary and education-led, while efforts to curb home heating emissions should be done on a regional basis with local input, the assembly said in its final report published on Thursday.

Other recommendations included making public transport links cheaper and phasing out new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles by 2030-2035, with government incentives for people to buy cleaner cars.

It also recommended taxes on air travel should increase the more often and further people fly.

The Assembly does not have any independent power, but its findings will be used to inform broader discussions on how the climate goal should be met.

Its views will be considered by the government’s independent climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, its chief executive Chris Stark said.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Jan Harvey