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Copeland People's Panel on Climate Change

Copeland Council recognises that we all have a responsibility to respond to the emergency of climate change.

We have a Climate and Environment Policy, which guides our Climate Action Plan, which details changes we intend to make as an organisation.

But we aren't acting alone. Organisations across the borough are taking individual actions to tackle the issue - but we can all do more.

With the support of Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS), we have launched the Copeland People's Panel on Climate Change - a citizens' jury that will guide us and partner organisations on where our priorities should lie as we work towards our ambition of becoming a net-zero carbon borough.

What is a citizens' jury?

A citizens' jury is a panel made of up of members of the public that comes together to deliberate - and make recommendations - on a particular issue.

How will the Copeland People's Panel on Climate Change operate?

The citizens' jury is called the Copeland People's Panel on Climate Change.

It is made up of 30 randomly selected residents from Copeland who will meet on between eight and 10 occasions. Assisted by Shared Future (a social enterprise and social interest company), members will receive presentations from a range of experts on climate change and have the opportunity to ask questions and have discussions. 

The Panel will ultimately make a set of recommendations to Copeland Council - and potentially a range of other organisations - on how the borough can achieve net-zero.

Supporting the People's Panel is an Oversight Panel - a group of local stakeholders from a range of public and private sectors who will guide the People's Panel (while meeting separately) and actively support the successful implementation of the People's Panel's recommendations.

What is the timeframe?

The People's Panel began meeting in July and it ran until September. 

How can you get involved?

Through the independent organisation, the Sortition Foundation, 6,000 letters were sent to randomly selected addresses across Copeland inviting people to register their interest in joining the panel. The foundation then selected 30 people who reflect the diversity of the local population, both in terms of demographic make-up and opinions on climate change.

Further information about the selection and recruitment process is available. Please note the panel is now running and no further recruitment will take place. 

How can I find out more?

For regular updates on the Copeland People’s Panel on Climate Change visit our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages, YouTube channel, or sign-up to our residents' newsletter Copeland Matters. 

For direct links to presentations given to panel members please see below. 

Session 1 - Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, and Councillor Andy Pratt, Portfolio Holder for Environment, joined the panel members to set out their commitment to supporting the group, and any recommendations that they make, to address climate change in Copeland.

Session 2 - The panel heard from Dr. Cat Scott from the School of Earth & Environment, Leeds University and Dr. Paul Young from the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, who gave an introduction to climate change and its impacts.

Session 3 -  Panel members imagined what they would like life to be like, in Copeland, in 20 years’ time. They also learned where emissions in Copeland are coming from. As part of their investigation the panel heard from Charlie Rogers of Small World Consulting and Steve Hardy, Environment Director, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Session 4 - The panel discussed how change can happen and were joined by Simon Kaye, Senior Researcher, New Local. 

Session 5 – Panel members started to write their recommendations and prioritised transport, education and behaviour change. The panel heard from:

Session 6 - Panel members began writing recommendations on one of their prioritised themes – transport. There are no presentations available for this session. 

Session 7 - The panel discussed transport, education and behaviour change. It heard from:

Session 8 - The panel focussed on another of its preferred topics – energy generation. It heard from:


Statement from Councillor Andy Pratt, Chair of the Oversight Panel for the Copeland People’s Panel on Climate Change.

“I’d like to thank the thirty residents that stepped forward to help make our borough a better place and lead it into the future with some incredibly ambitious recommendations.

“Large scale change is never easy and our residents have aimed right for the top in drafting their recommendations in the hope of making positive change for future generations.

“The three key themes of transport, energy generation and education and behaviour change are integral areas where we must make changes in everyday life in order to reduce our carbon footprint and meet Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership’s ambitious emission reduction programme to make Cumbria carbon neutral by 2037.

“Equally we need to be clear about what is in our control, where we need to effect change at the policy level, and where partners must work together as well as each of us in our own lives, to play our individual and collective part.

“The recommendations will be put forward to Copeland councillors at the next meeting of the Council’s Climate Steering Group who will begin to match actions with a range of people and organisations at all levels who are able to support making a change.

“The group will focus on breaking down the recommendations into what can be achieved on a national, regional and local basis and if the recommendations are right for the area.

“People’s panels are starting to take shape all over the County and we’re grateful that Copeland’s residents were ready, and the first to come to the fore and dedicate their time to such an important issue.

“Working together directly with our residents is essential to making our borough a better place to live, work and visit and we look forward to working with the panel in the future.  There is no quick fix but we are committed to keep working together, and to take our community with us.”

Read the Copeland People’s Panel on Climate Change recommendations.  

Funders and supporters

The Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership brings together over 70 organisations in the public, private, and third sectors and is jointly chaired by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) and Cumbria County Council.Some of our activities are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and are part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership’s ambitious emission reduction programme to make Cumbria carbon neutral by 2037. 

To achieve its goal, the partnership will be delivering a range of projects and activities, many of which have been inspired and developed by local communities. A number of these community-led projects and activities, including (the name of your project/organisation), have been made possible by a £2.5 million grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.

For more information about the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership, go to Zero Carbon Cumbria Programme - CAfS

National LotteryCumbria Action for SustainabilityCopeland Borough Council LogoShared Future logo