At a glance

UK Parliament, Sortition Foundation, mySociety
Project Type: 

The UK’s Government and Parliament agreed in June 2019 that the UK should do more to tackle climate change. They passed a law committing the UK to reaching 'net zero' emissions by 2050.

The UK’s net zero target means that by 2050 the UK will have to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases it produces to a much lower level than today. It will also need to balance its remaining emissions by absorbing the same amount from the atmosphere. 

The actions required to do this will change the way we heat our homes, what we buy, how we travel, and many other aspects of our lives, as all of these result in emissions in some way. What exactly these impacts are will depend on what the UK does to meet its target, and how it does it. These are the questions that Climate Assembly UK will consider.

What we're doing

Climate Assembly UK will meet over four weekends in Birmingham between the end of January and the middle of March 2020. It will have 110 participants, chosen through a ‘civic lottery’ to be representative of the UK population as a whole.

The civic lottery process starts with posting 30,000 letters to randomly selected households across the UK. Read more about how this works. 

Further details of the assemby will be added here as they are finalised.

Who's involved? 

There are many individuals and organisations involved in delivering, overseeing, advising and funding Climate Assembly UK.

Expert Leads

The Expert Leads ensure that Climate Assembly UK is: 

  • Balanced, accurate and comprehensive in terms of its content on climate change;

  • Focussed on the key decisions facing the UK about how to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. 

They work closely with us on the design of the assembly and play a key role at the assembly weekends. They are specialists in different approaches to tackling climate change. The Expert Leads are: 

  • Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the Committee of Climate Change;

  • Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy, University College London and Director of the UK Energy Research Centre; 

  • Lorraine Whitmarsh, Professor of Environmental Psychology, University of Cardiff, and Director of the UK Centre of Climate Change and Social Transformations;

  • Rebecca Willis, Professor in Practice, University of Lancaster. 


We are responsible for ensuring that Climate Assembly UK is a high quality citizens’ assembly. We work closely with the Expert Leads on the assembly’s design, focussing on areas such as the assembly’s structure, timings and accessibility.  We also provide the facilitation team for the assembly, and manage the project overall. We are the main point of contact for assembly members. 

Sortition Foundation 

The Sortition Foundation is responsible for recruiting a representative group of people to take part in Climate Assembly UK. It is a not-for-profit company that promotes the use of randomly selected groups of people in decision-making.


mySociety is creating Climate Assembly UK’s branding and website. It is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides technology, research and data that help people to be active citizens.


Climate Assembly UK was called by six select committees of the House of Commons. Staff from the House of Commons and the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology, who specialise in producing balanced information, oversee, and sign off, all work on the assembly on behalf of these committees. 

The six select committees are: Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Environmental Audit; Housing, Communities and Local Government; Science and Technology; Transport; and Treasury.

Advisory Panel 

The Advisory Panel provides feedback on key aspects of the assembly’s design, including:

  • Who is invited to give evidence and what they are asked to cover;

  • The questions on which assembly members are asked to give their views;

  • The written briefings created for assembly members. 

The panel supports the Expert Leads in ensuring that Climate Assembly UK is balanced, accurate and comprehensive in terms of its content on climate change. The Climate Assembly UK team are currently finalising the Advisory Panel and will publish a full list of members here shortly.  

Academic Panel 

The Academic Panel reviews the written briefings created for assembly members to support the Expert Leads in ensuring they are balanced, accurate and comprehensive. Its members may also be asked for additional advice by the Expert Leads. Academic Panel members are researchers specialising in various aspects of climate change. The Climate Assembly UK team are currently finalising the Academic Panel and will publish a full list of members here shortly. 


Climate Assembly UK is funded by the House of Commons, with additional funding from two philanthropic organisations: the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the European Climate Foundation. The two organisations providing additional funding do not have a say over how the assembly is run. 

Find out more


Click here for more information on the citizens' assembly method.