False: House of Lords report promotes lockdowns to tackle climate emergencies, calls for a ban on flying and meat consumption.

By: Ankita Kulkarni
December 15 2022

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False: House of Lords report promotes lockdowns to tackle climate emergencies, calls for a ban on flying and meat consumption.


The Verdict False

The report says the government should learn from their COVID-19 communication to build public messaging for lifestyle changes.

Claim ID 41efacc0


Scientists and governments around the globe have been conducting various studies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. Following this, several social media users have been criticizing governments for allegedly implementing extreme measures to reduce carbon emissions. One such Facebook post carries an image of the report published by the U.K.'s House of Lords, Environment and Climate Change Committee. The post claims that the report explains how the lockdowns implemented during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 can be adapted to tackle climate emergencies. It also alleges that the report recommends that the masses stop eating meat and flying. However, these alleged recommendations mentioned in the Facebook post are incorrect and taken out of context.

In Fact

The House of Lords' Environment and Climate Change Committee was established to improve emissions control and help achieve the government's net zero targets by 2050. On October 12, the committee published a report titled "Behaviour change for climate and environmental goals." The report, which can be found on its website, asks the government to learn from people's behavior in implementing lifestyle changes that could help reduce carbon emissions and leave the environment in better conditions for future generations. 

The report notes that during the inquiry, the committee heard from organizations around the globe, including young people, businesses, government ministers, local authorities, and other think tanks. It found that people want to know how they could play their part in tackling climate change. It asks the government to give out clear policies on travel, what to eat, what to wear, and how to use energy at home to reduce carbon emissions. 

The recommendations mentioned in the report are being misinterpreted. Firstly, unlike the viral post's claims, the report does not advocate for lockdowns as a means for climate emergencies. It notes that lockdowns were prime example of a successful public communication campaign that helped implement behavioral change in people. The report states that the government should apply lessons from successful and unsuccessful attempts to drive behavior change in other areas to strive towards behavior change required to meet the U.K.'s climate and environmental goals. The committee says that the government should evaluate behavioral change during the pandemic, understand how it happened, and then apply the same learnings to the area of climate change and the environment. Nowhere does the report recommend lockdown to achieve climate goals - it merely notes and advises that government should adopt a robust public communication campaign to bring in lifestyle changes to combat extensive carbon emissions.

Second, the report is not pushing for a ban on flying or asking people to cut back on traveling within their districts. Instead, it emphasizes public transport, shifting from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric vehicles(EV), increasing the use of bicycles/walking for transportation. The government's recently published Jet Zero Strategy measures intend to improve efficiency and support the development of sustainable aviation fuels. The government's aim is "preserve the ability for people to fly whilst supporting consumers to make sustainable aviation travel choices." What the report does suggest is the possibility of a levy on frequent flyers - a sort of extra charge per flight that a minority in the U.K. flying more frequently than others would be required to bear - but it asks the government to first look into evidence for the introduction of such a charge.

Third, the committee does not advocate for a ban on meat consumption. Instead, it suggests a partial reduction in meat and dairy consumption and a shift towards certain types of meat, such as pasture-fed meat, dairy, and other foods produced by sustainable production methods. These would contribute to achieving climate and environmental goals, the report states. It also asks the government to increase the availability of food with lower climate and environmental impacts and sets out methods to do that. Meanwhile, it also notes that the government's perspective on food habits was that "The Government are very explicit in saying that, from an environmental perspective, we are not telling people that they should not eat meat. Beyond the Eatwell Guide, which is very much from a health perspective and recognizes that meat protein is part of a healthy diet that should be eaten in moderation, we do not have any messages to the public about meat consumption from a food production angle." The report states that the government should update the Eatwell Guide to reflect a diet compatible with the U.K.'s long-term climate and environmental goals.

The committee report only endorses altering public behavior and lifestyle to tackle climate change and achieve environmental goals. It is not pushing to ban anything, as the viral post claims. It notes the problems, the possible policies that government could implement, and presents specific solutions.  

The Verdict

From the complete report we analyzed, nowhere does the committee advocate lockdowns for climate emergencies or suggest banning meat consumption, flying, and traveling. It only sets forth policies and solutions to reduce carbon emissions via behavioral changes. These recommendations are being misconstrued in the viral post. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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