Session Videos and Interviews


Jury members have heard from and questioned a series of expert commentators. Watch the presentations using the tabs below. You’ll find more information on the presenters’ experience and the focus of each session on the Sessions Overview page.

Session 2 - Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change

This video provides a great overview of the mechanisms behind climate change. It explains the concept of greenhouse gases, how they are released into the atmosphere and the warming cycle caused by them. Chris also addresses the wider impacts of climate change on our environment and the threat they pose to human health. He ends by exploring methods of reducing emissions and ways to adapt to the future climate.

Key points raised

– The use of fossil fuels has led to an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases, which cause increases in global temperature.

– This causes rapid changes in climate a.k.a climate change, which has profound wider impacts including weather extremes, decreased food and water supply, and threatens our natural environment and health.

– Strategies should seek to cut carbon emissions alongside planning and adaptation measures to the future climate.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Session 3 – Mike Berners-Lee, Professor, researcher and author

In this video, Professor Mike Berners-Lee explains what a carbon footprint is, and breaks down Kendal’s carbon footprint and contribution into four major sections: food, home energy, travel, and other consumption. He then outlines the main culprits of carbon emissions in each of these sections and details ways in which Kendal residents can decrease their emissions, both on an individual and community-wide scale.

Key points raised

– All services, products and goods have a carbon footprint. The main sources of Kendal’s carbon footprint can be divided into 4 aspects of daily life namely, food, home energy, travel and other consumption.

– To reduce our carbon footprint, we need to change our diets to include less meat, alongside reducing food waste. We should also invest in more efficient energy systems and renewable energy production like solar panels. In terms of travel, we should work towards removing our car culture, and walk or cycle more. We need to buy less, at higher quality, and place importance on goods that can be repaired and made to last.

– Kendal can help to create low carbon visitor destinations to encourage domestic travel.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Session 4 - Professor Rebecca Willis, Lancaster Environment Centre

In this video, Professor Rebecca Willis lays out the groups involved in climate action: individuals, businesses and communities, and the government. Employing the creative use of props, she then details 5 different ways these groups can be involved and how change can be driven.

Key points raised

– The main groups that can be involved in climate action are the government, businesses and communities, and individuals. When these groups coordinate with each other, change can be driven.

– The role of the jury as a collective is to make recommendations that can influence all of these groups.

– There are 5 ways in which this change can be driven, though some actions are limited to the influence of certain groups. These are: a) to provide information and advice; b) government investment in low carbon infrastructure; c) Incentivising low carbon; d) Penalising high carbon; and e) government regulation of high carbon.

– Each of these have their own advantages and disadvantages, but the common thread is that in order for these to drive change, there has to be a reasonable, low carbon alternative that is readily available.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Sessions 5 - Gill Fenna, Quantum Strategy and Technology

In this video, Gill Fenna explains the types of energy use i.e. electricity, heat and transport fuel. She goes on to describe the main sources of renewable energy generation and outlines ways in which Kendal can generate part of its own renewable energy supply, drawing case studies from community led ventures in other areas such as Bristol and Cambridgeshire.

Key points raised

– To reach zero carbon, energy use for electricity, heating and transport fuel needs to be replaced with renewable electricity, generated by wind turbines, solar panels or hydrogen. Kendal should seek to supplement its supply of national renewable electricity by generating renewable electricity wherever possible.

– The best options for this are wind turbines, if planning permissions allow, and solar panels. For heating, heat pumps work well, as long as buildings are well insulated. Woodburning may be suitable for rural areas. In terms of transport, we need to switch to electric vehicles, but these can be expensive and require the necessary infrastructure.

– It is possible to start community efforts to generate renewable electricity, but this requires strong local leadership and funding.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Sessions 5 - Kevin Frea, Lancaster City Council Councillor

In this video, Lancaster City Councillor, Kevin Frea discusses the various investments by other local communities into renewable energy and housing energy efficiency. He uses examples from Nottingham and Lancaster to illustrate how it is possible for councils and communities to work together to cut their energy use and invest in renewables.

Key points raised

– Retrofitting houses with insulation and heat pumps, and ensuring that new houses are fitted to passive house standard (needing little energy to run) can increase home energy efficiency and decrease energy use.

– Fossil fuels cannot simply be replaced with renewables in the existing power grid. While renewables have less energy return on energy invested than fossil fuels but wind energy has the best return, and much of the UK’s energy should come from wind farms in the future.

– To meet the UK’s zero carbon targets, home energy use should be reduced by at least half. The government offers significant subsidies for home owners to install heat pumps and insulation.

– Councils can partner with organisations to get funding to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as providing details on what can be done at home.


Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Sessions 6 - Lisa Hopkinson, Environmental Researcher

In this video, Lisa Hopkinson explains why we need to reduce car usage in the UK to reduce carbon emissions, and how people can be encouraged to walk or cycle rather than drive in four key ways.

Key points raised

– We need to get rid of petrol and diesel engines, and rapidly transition to electric vehicles in the UK in order to cut emissions, as the transport sector accounts for a third of the UK’s total carbon emissions.

– To do so, walking and cycling should be encouraged by building segregated cycle networks and reallocating space for walking and cycling. Public transport should be made free or cheaper, and an eco-levy imposed on vehicles, which can then be invested into local services.

– Local government should be given the power to regulate their own public transport, as well as to raise funds to invest into public transport and local services.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Sessions 6 - Alistair Kirkbride, Fellow of the Foundation of integrated Transport

In this video, Alistair Kirkbride paints a picture of Kendal where Lisa Hopkinson’s suggestions for how a low-carbon transport system can work effectively on a local scale.

Key points raised

– Most journeys within Kendal are quite short. Popular destinations can be linked by cycling and walking networks that are integrated with public transport, alongside a shared bike scheme.

– The Cumbria County Council can, by law, can choose to have more control over public transport in the county; changes also require strong public support. Free public transport and a low carbon transport system are feasible, and socially and economically beneficial, but require public and political will.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Session 7 - Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University London's Centre for Food Policy

In this video, Professor Tim Lang attempts to tackle the ‘impossible question’ of local food security. He delves into the systemic issues in the UK’s food supply and production, listing 7 ways in which we can change our habits around food to transition towards a low carbon diet.

Key points raised

– The UK is declining in food production, and current policy frameworks are not useful anymore. Production and consumption of food in the UK needs to change drastically.

– Consumers need to be prepared to pay farmers more, and therefore pay more for food in order to make a change. The UK also needs to transition to a healthier diet, and change the composition of our food to include more vegetables, legumes and nuts, while cutting down on red meat, to reduce environmental impact.

– We also need more control of our domestic food supply, alongside cooking with fresh ingredients, reducing food waste, and changing our food culture to accept less choice and eating seasonally.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Session 7 - Adam Briggs, North West Environment Advisor, National Farmers Union

In this video, Adam Briggs briefly outlines agriculture in the Lakeland area, explaining the various challenges and limitations of local food production around Kendal.

Key points raised

– Of the 114,000 ha of agricultural land around Kendal, around 2,000 of that is used for cereal and vegetables – farmers want to choose crops with the best return that are suited to the land they are growing on.

– The type and quality of land is a serious limitation, and food production may increase existing pressures on other land, especially on lowland peat. Kendal also is at risk of flooding. However, new technology and innovation may open opportunities for food production on this land.

– We may need to get used to different types of food crops that can be grown on arable land, or potentially use land for more than one purpose, such as rearing sheep on a solar farm.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Session 7 - Richard Geldard, Local Farmer from Low Foulshaw

In this video, Richard Geldard discusses domestic food production and supply, suggesting that further development of domestic food production and education on environmental impacts of local food can go a long way in helping people make informed choices.

Key points raised

– The UK needs to develop more environmentally friendly food production; the solution isn’t simply to import more food from outside the UK. Covid has highlighted pressures and vulnerabilities in the domestic food supply chains that need to be considered.

– There are many misconceptions of domestic food production with regards to environmental impacts, especially with beef and egg production. Better education on food production in the UK can help the public make informed decisions.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Session 7 - Paul Allen, Member of Centre for Alternative Technology

In this video, Paul Allen explains why the UK’s current land use practices are unsustainable, and how restructuring land use to prioritize carbon capture, and healthier plant-based diets can help the UK become more self-reliant in its food supply.

Key points raised

– Land use practice in the UK is currently not ecologically and economically sustainable and threatens biodiversity, accounting for 10% of national carbon emissions. We need to rethink land use around carbon capture and shifts in diet.

– By changing our diets and reducing red meat, we can shift land use towards cropland and natural and artificial carbon capture. This will allow over half our peatland and our forests to be restored, which can increase carbon capture, and supply wood for fuel/building.

– We also need to stop importing the food we can grow domestically, pay growers more and localise our food chains, to open up income streams and employment opportunities in self-reliant food production.

Find out more about Zero Carbon Britain.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Session 7 - Amy Hardy, Volunteer for Waste into Wellbeing

In this video, Amy Hardy discusses her experience of food waste volunteering with Waste into Wellbeing, a Kendal-based non-profit project that redistributes excess food from supermarkets, gardens and allotments that would otherwise be disposed, to local residents.

Key points raised

– Waste into Wellbeing has been redistributing food from local allotments, gardens, supermarkets to Kendal residents. While their operation has been impacted by covid, they have managed to put together food bags for locals, and continue with their lunch schemes for elderly residents. This was a very successful venture, with over 1500 food bags distributed between March and June of 2020.

– Amy notes that there was a social impact alongside reducing food waste, where people could meet each other in a socially distanced way when picking up these bags, and passing on food to their neighbours. Waste into Wellbeing hopes to continue its work, despite Covid-19 measures, but Amy also optimistically hopes that one day there will no longer be a need for it.

Find out more about Waste into Wellbeing.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Session 8 -Elisabeth Skinner MBE, Academic Leader - Society of Local Council Clerks

Elizabeth Skinner provides a succinct overview of the three levels of local government, and the power each level has to enact change and make decisions.

Key points raised

– The three levels of local government (county, district and town councils) operate independently, providing public services. Each council is led by elected councillors, who then decide which services to provide and how they will be funded.

– County and District Councils are required by law to provide certain services, but are subject to control and limitations on funding by the national government. Town councils, however, can raise as much money as they need if the communities are willing to pay.

– Contrary to popular belief, town councils are able to accomplish great things, especially with the support and coordination of all three levels of local government.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Session 8 - Councillor Jon Owen - Kendal Town Council

Councillor Jon Owen briefly touches on the Kendal Town council’s powers and limitations, and discusses what has been done by the council, and future plans of action regarding climate change.

Key points raised

– Kendal Town Council is primarily responsible for local services in Kendal such as bins, benches and signage, but is involved in town planning and other services via the County and District Councils. However, the annual budget of Kendal Town Council is extremely limited at about £400,000 compared to the £48 million and £400 million for the District and County councils respectively.

– The Kendal Town Council has, so far, organised the Citizens Jury, co-invested in Kendal Futures to reduce Kendal’s carbon footprint, and is working with the County Council to implement an area wide 20mph speed limit to encourage cyclists and pedestrians. Recommendations from the Jury will inform the Town Council’s future climate action plan.

Session 8 - Councillor Dyan Jones, Climate Emergency and Localism Portfolio Holder - South Lakeland District Council

Councillor Dyan Jones summarises the main functions of the Lakeland District Council, and contributions to climate action district wide. However, she acknowledges that more needs to be done, but that planning and funding can limit action.

Key points raised

– The Lakeland District Council primarily handles operations districtwide (building, waste collection, land maintenance etc.) and has some degree of influence in areas such as planning and lobbying the national government. They also work collaboratively with local organisations for sustainability and climate change such as CAfS (Cumbria Action for Sustainability).

– The District Council has a comprehensive Climate Strategy and Action Plan with over 150 action points across all districts with the aim to be carbon neutral by 2037. They also measure the carbon footprint in Cumbria regularly and assess how to make reductions in building energy use and invest in renewables.

– The District Council also supported the Citizens Jury, cycling projects including the Lancaster-Kendal canal regeneration, but planning and funding pose challenges to how much can be done.

Session 8 - Paul Haggin, Manager, Development Control and Tim Gale, Senior Policy & Scrutiny Project Officer, Cumbria County Council

Paul Haggin and Tim Gale of Cumbria County Council outline the main responsibilities of the County Council as well as efforts made so far into carbon and energy reductions, suggesting that community engagement should be the main focus in local climate change governance and decision-making.

Key points raised

– The Cumbria County Council is primarily responsible for public services such as education, social services, roads and highways etc. They were also recently involved in the decision regarding West Cumbria mining.

– So far, the County Council has made significant reductions in emissions through converting street lights to LED, reducing energy use by 20% in corporate buildings, alongside developing the Nature Recovery Strategy, carbon management plans and strategies, funding sustainable community projects. They have also managed to secure funding of £2.5 million in collaboration with the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership for a climate change work program to develop community led projects in conjunction with local governments.

– Local government reorganisation should prioritize strong climate change strategies and policies as well as maintaining and improving how councils work with local communities.


Throughout the process various participants and supporters have been interviewed about why they are keen to get behind Kendal Citizens’ Jury.  Watch the interviews using the tabs below.

Commentator Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change

In this video, Chris Stark (Chief Executive, UK Committee on Climate Change) is interviewed by Jemima Longcake on the significance of citizens juries and how they contribute to the wider debate around climate change in the UK.

key points:

– The UK Committee on Climate Change is an independent organisation that assesses government climate action. Its main purpose is to look at emissions reduction and adaptation strategies

– Climate change is a cross-generational issue that requires community support. Citizens juries like in Kendal can allow for better understanding of public attitudes and preferences, which can then better inform governments on climate action and decision-making.

Read the session overviews and commentator biographies here.

Oversight Panel Member Mark Cropper, CEO James Cropper PLC

In this interview with fellow Citizens’ Jury Oversight Group member, Jemima Longcake, Mark Cropper, CEO of James Cropper PLC  and Chair of Kendal Futures, shares why he supports Kendal’s Citizens Jury as a pathway to change and how he will support the recommendations of the Jury.