Rebecca Willis Profile picture
Climate & energy governance; citizen engagement. Prof @LancsUniLec. Expert Lead, #ClimateAssemblyUK (2020). @BBCWomansHour Our Planet Power List.
Maggie Mason Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
Oct 18 6 tweets 1 min read
I've just seen another set of results of another public dialogue on climate.

I'm struck by the absolute consistency of findings, across location, type of research & time.

In short:

People are very worried about climate change and supportive of climate action, in general.

Whether or not this translates into support for individual policies/strategies depends on:

a) whether people see it as 'fair' (or contributing to greater inequality)
b) preference for local approaches
c) conditional wariness about technologies & their social implications

Oct 13 8 tweets 4 min read
Climate strategies need to work for people. But how does government actually think about us humans?

Research I’ve just published shows that official government strategies on climate barely mention people at all.

A thread & summary briefing (1/8)… Linguistic analysis of govt documents including the Net Zero Strategy shows that people are barely mentioned.

The words 'technology' & 'hydrogen' are more common than any ‘people’ words.

People are talked about *twice* as often in Budget documents than climate documents.(2/8)
Jun 30 5 tweets 4 min read
Public engagement & @theCCCuk progress report (& our @LancasterUni @Cl_Citizens work with them) - a quick thread

The CCC has long recognised that engaging people, not just as consumers but as citizens, workers, members of communities - is crucial to the net zero transition.

1/5 They're critical of government's timidity in talking to people about the climate crisis, and recommend:

- Overarching public engagement plans
- Good climate comms
- Deliberative & participatory processes
- Greater use of social & behavioural sciences.

We've been helping...

Nov 5, 2021 11 tweets 3 min read
As the first week of COP26 ends, and young people take to the streets on this Friday for Future like no other, I've been thinking a lot about what it feels like to work on, or get involved in, climate.

A thread about optimism, pessimism, determination and despair.

1/10 In recent media interviews on climate, there's one question that keeps recurring: how optimistic do I feel?

Sorry, journalists, but that's the wrong question.

I don't think the question is: optimism or pessimism?

Instead, it's: determination or despair?

Oct 20, 2021 13 tweets 4 min read
Looking at responses to the Net Zero Strategy, it reminds me of what (when I ran @GreenAllianceUK longer ago than I care to remember) we used to call the "two cheers" problem.

Two Cheers? Read on...

1/13 Once upon a time, a govt released a strategy on something that green groups had been saying really needed doing. (something fiscal I think).

It was....pretty ok. A step forward. Not as good as it could be. So @friends_earth response was "two cheers" (ie not three cheers). 2/13
Oct 19, 2021 7 tweets 3 min read
Government publishes 368 page Net Zero Strategy at 12.30

@BBCWorldatOne asks me to talk about it at 1.30


listen here from 39.30 if you want the hottest of hot takes 😂 (which I reserve the right to change)

and 🧵on what I think so far...… Overall: more comprehensive than 10 point plan; (mostly) right direction, but qs about pace.

We've sped up from a walk to a jog, but we need to sprint.


EV mandate for car companies
Clear statement that gas boilers will go
Finance stuff which I don't understand yet
May 25, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
What do local politicians & council officials really think about the climate crisis?

A new paper by me, @DTyfield & @Andy_Yuille for @PCANcities asks not WHAT needs to be done, but HOW local actors think they can bring about this change.

Thread.... 1/7… Policies & strategies don't exist in isolation to the people who write them & implement them.

By studying the people, you get insights into how to speed up climate action. That's what I learned studying MPs, & what we brought into this project. 2/7…
Jan 4, 2021 12 tweets 5 min read
Back to work. Kids back to school (in the next room). Tough for them.

Didn't see many people or do much over Christmas, obviously, but so nice to have some time to wind down.

2021 has got to be a big year for climate. Some thoughts: 1/11 Of course COP26 is *the* big climate happening. Crucial chance to step up global co-operation. With a Biden-led Whitehouse, that's very possible.

But in terms of wider outreach, I worry that COPspeak galvanises climate wonks & no-one else. Big engagement challenges here... 2/11
Nov 18, 2020 6 tweets 4 min read
Some thoughts on that 10 Point Plan.

It's a strong statement, with eye-catching policies & spending commitments.

But there's lots unsaid. Is it actually a plan? How will it be delivered? What about local govt? Citizen engagement? Coal, oil & gas?

1/6… There's no detail on whether it will be enough to meet carbon budgets - but luckily the ever-reliable @DrSimEvans has done the sums on that ALREADY. Did he sleep?

I'm more focussed, though, on how all this (and more) can be delivered. 2/6

Jul 7, 2020 17 tweets 11 min read
Evidence on unburnable oil, gas & coal: a thread.

Yesterday I asked for your go-to references on ‘unburnable carbon’ – i.e. the amount of oil, coal & gas that must stay in the ground if we’re to meet Paris goals.

Got some great responses – here goes
1/16 Background: fossil companies eg @WCumbriaMining & @The_Banks_Group claim it’s better to open new mines here rather than importing.

But there are already TOO MANY extraction sites worldwide. Investing in additional sites risks carbon overshoot & stranded assets. Evidence:
Feb 10, 2020 8 tweets 6 min read
Still in Birmingham after @NetZeroUK #ClimateAssemblyUK thanks to #StormCiara but I'm relaxed!

Again, *such* an experience.

All talks here…

And some reflections from me - thread...

@ChiefExecCCC @watsonjim2 @lwhitmarsh @involveUK First: AMAZING job by @involveUK and team, both logistics and facilitation.

This weekend I worked on the 'In The Home' strand, with the brilliant @kaela leading relaxed and inclusive debate.

Even when the storm wreaked travel havoc, the team sorted it, & were still smiling.
Oct 24, 2019 11 tweets 2 min read
* new updated national climate strategy checklist! *

Yesterday I tweeted a 10-part checklist about what every national climate strategy should include.

Thanks to the wonders of climate twitter I got some brilliant suggestions and have refined it. I've tried to make this politically neutral, i.e. how can a government of any political colour develop a comprehensive response? So it won't please everyone. Doesn't comment on social justice or market solutions, or other environmental impacts.

Here goes. Comments still welcome.
Oct 23, 2019 8 tweets 2 min read
Right, climate twitter.

I've tried to draw up a simple, yet comprehensive, checklist of what every national climate strategy should include.

Strikes me that there's a lot of complexity put in the way of clarity. So I'm trying to shine a light.

Would love thoughts - here goes 1. Is there a clearly-stated long-term target, written into law?

2. Is there vocal political leadership on climate change, and a healthy political debate about strategy?
Jul 3, 2019 11 tweets 4 min read
How to run a workshop with school students:

So many thoughtful & lovely replies to my request, so here's a quick thread summarising their, and my, thoughts. First, tone / structure: completely agree with @raechel_kelly & @crossborder that it should start with *their* ideas & knowledge. ('flipped classroom' in the jargon)

I do not plan to tell them what to do. But I can facilitate, answer qs, build confidence....
May 16, 2019 5 tweets 5 min read
There's been so much chat about citizens' assemblies and deliberative democracy swirling about, that I took some time out to think through what's needed now. Here are my thoughts - in this blog… and thread below...1/ The blog goes into the background but to cut straight to it, I think what's needed is:

1) a national Citizen's Assembly, formally commissioned by Parliament - and not a one-off, but a regular process, tied in to CC Act budgeting processes and @theCCCuk reports.2/