Norwich hosts major climate conference

Norfolk climate change experts are gearing up to shape future government policy on Wednesday when a powerful select committee of MPs holds an inquiry in the county.

Norfolk climate change experts are gearing up to shape future government policy on Wednesday when a powerful select committee of MPs holds an inquiry in the county.

Led by Michael Jack MP, the cross- party commons environment, food and rural affairs committee (Efra) was drawn to UEA by the inspiring CRed carbon reduction campaign.

Their task is to find out how individuals and communities can be encouraged to tackle climate change and how government can make carbon reduction choices easier for the public.

And they are looking to Norfolk's climate experts and members of the public to tell them how.

CRed's Marcus Armes said: "We are delighted to have attracted this important parliamentary committee to UEA to hear evidence on carbon reduction from the CRed Team and from a cross-section of the public who have pledged to do their bit to reduce carbon emissions.

"This is the first time a formal parliamentary select committee inquiry has been held at the UEA, and it is a great tribute to the profile of the CRed programme that this prestigious committee of MPs has decided to leave the House of Commons and travel up to Norfolk to hear about carbon reduction.

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"We strongly encourage as many people as possible to attend the hearing, as we would like to see more select committee inquiries held in Norwich and Norfolk."

The committee is interested in microgeneration, the obstacles faced by people who are trying to make a difference and how energy consumption can be reduced.

CRed's submission is based on the work the team has been doing since 2003 to cut emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by 60pc by 2025.

Tips from CRed include the idea that while national and international agencies can inform people about climate change and the need for carbon reduction, it is engagement at the local community level that convinces most of the public to undertake carbon reduction actions.

The government is also urged to set up a national database so that the public believes that by doing their bit people are contributing to a much bigger effort.

At present CRed believed that many people feel that they are a small cog in a very big wheel and their actions will make little difference.

This is exacerbated by the perceived lack of action from the United States and China, which is often cited by members of the public as reasons for inaction. The team thinks making people realise they are contributing to a much bigger global effort will help.

There are 70 spaces for the public to attend the inquiry in the UEA council chamber from 10.45am-1pm and 1.45pm-3pm on a first-come first-served basis.