Urgent actions for an emergency situation

I propose that the assembly be invited to arrive at a list of 5 priority actions that should be implemented with as immediate effect as possible (recognising that in some cases emergency legislation is likely to need to be passed). The main reason for this proposal would be to engender a sense of urgency across society (as well as of course to make sure we start taking some positive steps without delay). In order that these can be introduced very quickly they are unlikely to include measures of great complexity, but simple steps that can be implemented within weeks (in the same way as had to be done becuase of the Covi 19 pandemic).

For example, a simple measure that could be considered as a priority action could be a reduction in the speed limit on our roads to 60mph for dual carriageways/motorways, 50 instead of 60mph for all other roads not subject to lower limits, 40mph zones would become 30mph and 30mph zones would become 20mph zones... This would not only reduce the amount of fossil fuel being used with immediate effect and stop some of the awful waste (human and economic resulting from accidents), but be a clear reminder to everyone that we can and must make changes - but life can go on albeit differently, other benefits woould be it might help to start shaping behaviour about personal decisions about modes of transport and car purchasing decisions  (perhaps especially if the cuts in speed limit were slightly greater - or flagged to be likely to redice further soon).

This is obviously just an example priority (although a good one in my opinion)...


Why the contribution is important

As argued above, it would ensure some positive steps happen as soon as possible, and that it would help convey the sense of urgency which I believe is critical. When faced with a very big challenge it can be tempting to provaricate, try to work out a total solution,rather than get stuck in to starting to take positive action (even if the individual actions seem inadequate given the scale of the problem. This idea would help to overcome that inertia and give momentum to the need for further change....

by ianbratt on October 26, 2020 at 11:00AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 8 votes


  • Posted by AndrewS October 26, 2020 at 11:38

    Excellent idea. The set of 5 priorities could be the first in a rolling series of sets to keep up the momentum, preferably with the priorities established by an independent (not government-led) Citizen's Assembly, informed by experts ( rather than by stakeholders).
  • Posted by Katema October 26, 2020 at 12:00

    Yes, I support the idea of urgent action now and it would mitigate against the citizens assembly being dismissed as merely a talking shop . I think one/two of those 5 priorities should include a notice period being given to the big polluters that subsidies will be withdrawn and carbon taxes will be implemented within a period determined by the citizens assembly. Important that the 5 ideas don't get hijacked by a SG "wear woolly jumpers" mindset that puts the onus on individuals. Woolly jumpers are important but stopping fossil fuel production more so.
  • Posted by DeclanM October 26, 2020 at 13:59

    The reducing speed limit idea is a great one. Could help bring more people to travel by train, or crucially cut out needless short journeys or indeed make them by car instead.
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