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Climate Change Citizens' Forum Sessions

Citizens Forum Members

The Citizen’s Forum is made up of 36 individuals who represent the interest groups and wider public of the Isle of Man. The Terms of Reference are being updated and will be made available shortly. 

The members were selected using a civic lottery style approach

  • 12 people were selected at random using census data
  • 12 people represent interest groups including:
    • Business (Chamber of Commerce Climate Change group)
    • Land Users/Agriculture (Manx National Farmers Union)
    • Construction/Trade (Construction Isle of Man)
    • Young Business Leaders (Chamber of Commerce Think Tank group)
    • Climate Change Action Group (Isle of Man Climate Change Coalition)
    • Architects (Isle of Man Society of Architects)
    • Transport
    • Wildlife/biodiversity
    • Small Businesses
    • Energy Users
    • Vulnerable
    • Students

The stakeholders in bold were invited to apply as there was more than one stakeholder in that group, then a random number generator selected the representative for the forum. 

  • 12 people were invited to apply and we received over 250 responses. Applicants were assessed anonymously to give a fair representation of age, gender, ethnicity and views on climate change. The following criteria was used for age:


IOM Population >= 16
As %

Representative No of applied  members Citizens’ Forum

Actual No of  applied members Citizens Forum

16 - 25




26 - 35




36 - 45




46 – 55




56 – 65




66 +




Any queries please contact the Climate Change Transformation Team on:

27 October 2020 - Introductory

Introductory session summary Citizen’s Forum – 27 October 2020


The agenda for the evening was as follows:

  • Welcome
  • Introductions
  • About the forum
  • Contracting
  • Survey
  • Background - the journey so far
  • The future

The Citizens’ Forum on Climate Change met for the first time on the 27 October 2020 for an introductory session. The session was designed to set the foundations for future sessions and give members the opportunity to interact with each other and share thoughts and opinions. It was also a chance to discuss and agree the best approach to make the forum a worthwhile experience for everyone.

Thirty-one of the 36 members were present, the remaining five will have a separate introductory meeting as three were unable to attend and the forum has two further spaces for members selected at random from the electoral register.

The session, co- chaired by Mr Ralph Peake MHK and Mrs Jane Poole-Wilson MLC, began with introductions and an exercise to give each member the opportunity to speak briefly to the group. This involved members imaging a future they hoped to have.

The word cloud below represents the key thoughts from the exercise: 

Word cloud - Citizens' Forum session 27.10.20

Mrs Jane Poole-Wilson MLC gave some further detail on the selection process for the forum that each group [invited, advertised and randomly selected] had followed, as well as stating the core principles of the forum. The forum will provide insight and feedback to the Climate Change Transformation Board on climate action work from a community perspective as well as providing views and information on specific topics as requested.

We had an open discussion around the question ‘what will make attending the citizens’ forum a good experience and a good use of your time?’

Conversations around openness, respect, feedback loops, freedom to express views and tangible outcomes were had in small groups and as a forum-wide exchange of ideas.

During a brief coffee break, members were invited to complete a shortened version of the public consultation on climate actions held in the summer of last year.

Following the break Mr Ralph Peake MHK gave an overview of the work on climate change to date and government’s journey so far. This included the most recent work on the independent report from Professor James Curran and the government’s action plan phase 1.

Before closing the session Mr Peake looked to future sessions and invited members to share their thoughts on some of the areas they were passionate about discussing.

The Climate Change Transformation Team and citizens’ forum co-chair will use the outcomes from the introductory session and use these to build a foundation for future meetings to make a forum that is inclusive, worthwhile and above all committed to zero carbon emissions by 2050.

1 December 2020 - The Built Environment

Session Two: Citizens’ Forum on Climate Change - The Built Environment

Tuesday 1 December 2020


  • Welcome
  • Contracting
  • Discussion – Spreading the word
  • Presentation – Available Technology
  • Topic – The Built Environment
  • Presentation – Retrofitting
  • Exercise – The home/roles for future homes and funding
  • Conclusions and outputs
  • Homework task - Fairness and protecting the vulnerable

Citizens’ Forum on Climate Change Session Two – 1 December 2020

The Built Environment

Following a successful introductory session (27 October 2020) of the forum, which set the foundations for future sessions and gave members the opportunity to interact and agree the best approach for future meetings, this week’s session ‘The Built Environment’ focused on the changes that are needed to home heating and lighting to reach net-zero carbon emissions.

The session opened with a brief recap of the previous session and the agreed way of working together before moving on to a group discussion on how members have been able to engage with others about the forum; with their community, group and/or industry sector.

Members have used various approaches such as, social media, setting up meetings / presenting to groups or simply speaking with their local community/friends network. These interactions lead to a wide range of conversations outside of the forum around grants systems, remote working, new builds and fairness.

Guest speakers Deb and Paul were invited to present to the forum to share their expertise and knowledge on retrofitting. Deb won the Retrofit for the Future Competition and together her and Paul have successfully retrofitted their 1970s bungalow and have cut their energy bills by approximately 60%.

Deb and Paul came up with a plan, summarised below, to retrofit their home. It should be noted that this method is specific to their situation but contains suggestions that could transfer to other style properties:


  • The property was about 45 years old and needed the roof replacing as it was causing damp issues.
  • Foil insulation added to the eaves to prevent draughts.
  • Insulated the back of loft doors and hatches
  • Made sure current loft insulation was the correct thickness


  • Replaced UPVC windows and doors with Argon filled glass – the frames themselves did not need updating as they were already good quality.

Heating System

  • Installed smart heating system
  • Converted open fire to wood burning stove


  • Added extra insulation for external walls (can be done internally or externally)
  • Upgraded to more efficient radiators
  • Added foil sheeting behind radiators
  • Upgraded curtains to thermal insulated curtains
  • Installed wall and ceiling panels in the bathroom


  • Installed under floor insulation
  • Lagged under floor heating pipes
  • Installed thicker underlay

For more detail see Deb’s Retrofit for the Future Competition submission.

Having heard what was possible, and some of the options available for retrofitting, the forum were asked to consider the barriers that could potentially stop people from retrofitting their own home. Some of the outcomes from this are listed below:

Possible Barriers
Lack of correct information Lack of regulation
Fear of being overcharged Reliable tradesmen
Inconvenience / disruption in the home Cost
Not knowing where to start Not owning the house/property
Feeling that technology will change after initial investment Limitations due to age of house
Delay to return on investment Not knowing where to get trusted advice

In general, the main barriers were summarised into 3 main categories:

  1. Information/education
  2. Cost/return on investment
  3. Disruption

The forum then discussed possible ways to remove or limit the barriers:

Shared ownership of the house/property Government to lead and set an example
Stricter building regulation Businesses to bring tech and expertise to the Island
Trusted directory of tradesmen/experts A framework to follow
More educational courses Renewables in all new builds
Awareness campaigns How to/instructions
Loans for energy efficiency stay with the house not with the person A single point for all energy efficiency information
Grading of homes so the those that are proven to be more energy efficient can be worth more Easier to get loans for energy efficiency improvements

To conclude the session the forum considered the role of authorities, government, communities and business could play in energy efficient homes. Debates around community funding, local authorities being able to implement their own renewables, increasing regulation, setting energy standards, capped profit margins on sale of energy efficient technologies and increasing education and skills.

The information outlined above will be shared with the Climate Change Transformation Board at their next meeting and will be used as insight when developing the engagement strategy and ultimately the revised energy efficiency scheme that is in the early planning stages in line with action 4.3 of the Phase One Climate Change Action plan.

Post session task: To give time to reflect, research and to discuss with community/industry groups the forum was asked to consider of the following outside of the normal meeting hours for discussion at the beginning of the next meeting:

  • How can we make sure the changes are fair, and that vulnerable people are protected?
  • Who should fund the changes needed?

Background Information – The Built Environment

Background information is made available to members of the Citizen’s Forum on Climate Change, ahead of sessions, to provide a base-level of knowledge on the subject area as well as useful statistics and definitions/explanations of terms used. Background information is intended to be thought provoking to enable stimulating debate at forum meetings and is not intended to signal a policy direction.

What is this topic about?

This topic focuses on the changes that are needed to the use of heating, hot water and electricity in the home to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

❖ What are the sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the home?

At the moment, 34% of greenhouse gas emissions on the Island are emitted by residential homes. This is the largest component of emissions on the Island. The main causes are using fossil fuels (gas, oil and coal) for heating, hot water and cooking;

❖ How is our electricity generated?

At the moment, our electricity is generated by burning gas though the Combined Cycle Gas Turbine station at Pulrose Power Station, or supplied by the UK interconnector when required, or supplied by Diesel Engines as a last resort. The Combined Cycle Gas Turbine and Diesel Engines produce carbon dioxide and they are fossil fuels.

Using electricity to power lights and electrical appliances (e.g. fridges, freezers, dishwashers, tumble dryers, IT equipment, TVs etc) contributes to these carbon dioxide emissions.

❖ What needs to be done to reach net zero emissions?

Homes will need to change in several ways if the Island is to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050:

  • The use of fossil fuels (gas, oil and coal) for heating, hot water and cooking needs to be phased out. It needs to be replaced with energy-efficient, zero-carbon alternatives. These could include efficient electric cookers, and heating systems that use heat pumps powered by electricity or eventually hydrogen.
  • Homes need to be insulated to make them as ‘energy efficient’ as possible, so that they are easier to heat. This can be done through draft proofing and adding loft insulation, insulating walls, and installing high-efficiency glazing. New homes need to be built to very high standards of energy efficiency. Ventilation also needs to be considered properly to reduce heat losses, whilst maintaining good internal air quality.
  • Appliances in the home, such as TVs, computers, washing machines, dishwashers, fridges and other equipment, also need to be more efficient, so they use less electricity.
  • Some equipment can be timed to operate when there is a large amount of electricity available, for example at night. Fridges, washing machines, and some types of heating could be adjusted in this way.
  • People can make changes to the way they live in their homes, including turning lights and appliances off. They can also reduce the temperature that their home is heated at and perhaps wear an extra jumper instead.
  • Electricity should be produced through zero-carbon means (renewable energy or nuclear power as seen in the UK) not through burning coal, oil and gas. Some households may be able to generate their own renewable electricity, using solar panels, for example.

Taking these steps brings benefits to householders beyond reducing emissions. Homes that are better insulated will be cheaper to heat and typically more comfortable. Many people cannot currently afford to heat their homes properly and would benefit from better insulation.

Shifting away from burning fossil fuels in the home will also make the air indoors cleaner, improving health.

Making these changes is not free. It will need investment, although energy-saving saves money in the long-term.

❖ What are the challenges in making these changes?

There are some difficult issues to be addressed in making these changes:

  • The Island has over 35,000 private sector homes and around 6,200 public sector homes. The Isle of Man’s housing is not very energy-efficient. We could have a better record on building or maintaining energy-efficient houses, as they are not as well insulated as some other countries. How can we get better at this?
  • Older buildings (those that are more than a hundred years old – around 25% of all homes) are more difficult to insulate and heat. They need different treatment to newer buildings. This needs to be taken into account.
  • There are lots of different views about the best zero-carbon heating systems. Many think that electric heat pumps are the best solution. Others think that switching from natural gas to hydrogen would be a good way of heating homes. Hydrogen can be generated using renewable energy (sometimes called ‘green hydrogen’), or by stripping the carbon out of fossil gas and carbon capture storage of the carbon dioxide (sometimes called ‘blue hydrogen’). There is broad agreement that we will need different approaches in different places.
  • People will have to make a number of complex and potentially expensive decisions about changing to different heating systems. These decisions will all vary and there won't always be a 'one size fits all' approach as it will depend on what you can afford and other things like the age and efficiency of your home, whether it’s a flat or a house, how you live in your home (social or private renters /homeowners /part own etc).
  • Many changes, like improving energy efficiency, will save money in the long run. However there are costs in the short term. Who should fund energy efficiency measures, and new equipment such as zero-carbon heating systems in the home?
  • Should the government fund, through taxation? Should householders and landlords pay for improvements to their own houses? What if they cannot afford to, or don’t want to pay?

❖ How can these challenges be overcome?

There are various ways to help overcome the challenges listed above

  • Using central government money (the public purse) to provide financial incentives to improve energy efficiency in homes. It could be for all households, or just poorer households;
  • Asking community organisations to provide energy efficiency and/or low carbon heating to householders. Householders could pay for this themselves or via loans, or community shares. Community shares are when people buy shares in a co-operative, which operates on behalf of the community and does not make a profit. (see
  • Requiring Manx Utilities to pay for energy efficiency measures. These costs would typically then be spread across all energy consumers through energy bills.
  • Passing and enforcing laws to ban heating systems that cause a lot of greenhouse gas emissions by a certain date. This would include things like oil and gas boilers (primary heating source in over 95% of homes). The Isle of Man has already announced its intention to ban fossil fuel heating systems in new homes from 2025. No date has been set for fossil fuel heating systems removals in existing properties
  • Passing laws requiring homes to meet a certain standard of energy efficiency if they are going to be let to tenants, or sold. This would mean that you would have to insulate a home if you wanted to sell it, or let it out.
  • In England and Scotland, an Energy Performance Certificate is needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. This gives you the energy efficiency ratings and suggested actions for improvements. The Isle of Man doesn’t have Energy Performance Certificates.

Many of these options are already in use in England, Wales and Scotland.

❖ What will the Citizen’s forum consider?

Forum members will consider this question:

What mix of government-led, local authority and community action do we want to get our homes to zero-carbon?

This will include:

  • How can we make our homes more energy efficient, and reduce demand for heat and electricity in the home?
  • What role could government, community groups and local authorities play?
  • How can we make sure the changes are fair, and that people are protected?
  • Who could fund the changes?

Some of this information has been sourced from the Climate Change Citizen’s Assembly Resources and their ‘In the Home’ session.

17 February 2021 - Climate Change Transformation Programme - Webinar

A short webinar to members of the Citizens' Forum on Climate Change to give further detail on the Island's Climate Change Transformation Programme, how the forum fits within the programme, how the work of the forum is being fed back to the board and a look to the next 12 months topics for the forum.

24 February - Energy supply - Where our electricity comes from

Citizens’ Forum on Climate Change- Session Three – 24 February 2021

Energy - Where does our Electricity come from?

Following feedback from Forum members, we held the meeting for our February forum at The Lodge in Braddan, as this venue would enable our members to take part in break out groups. Members had the chance to make their individual contributions heard and have a more focused debate on our energy needs.

The session opened with a brief overview of the previous session’s homework, which was to think about the question ‘How can we make sure the changes are fair, and that vulnerable people are protected? Who should fund the changes needed?’

The members were invited to talk to their neighbour about their thoughts on these questions. Please email your feedback and this will be collated together to ensure we capture all your thoughts. This will also give the members who could not make it on the night an opportunity to have their say.

We then invited our energy strategy contractors, who are working on how the Island will achieve 75% renewable energy by 2035, to present to the forum regarding where our electricity comes from (a combination of the CCGT-Combined Cycle Gas Turbine, subsea interconnector and diesel generators.) and our potential future energy choices. The contractors gave a very interesting and thought provoking presentation which will be made available on the government website in the future. Areas covered included the energy trilemma, as well as options for future renewable generation and comparison with the Channels Islands approach to energy provisions. The members had a chance to question the contractors after the presentation, with questions such as:

  • What’s the geothermal potential on the Island?
  • What is the potential for energy generation from tidal steams on the island?
  • Where could CO2 be stored and how long can it be stored?

As the group is so engaged, we again had more debate and discussion than time, so we will be compiling those additional thoughts and queries via the Teams chat and then the website in due course.

After a quick break, the forum was divided into groups and each group was given a potential energy scenario. Within their teams the members discussed how all of the island’s future electricity needs could be generated using the scenario they were allocated. The scenarios given to each team were:

  • Baseload
  • Interconnector
  • Carbon Capture
  • Renewables.

Each group considered their energy scenario and their facilitator presented the findings when the group re convened. The result was a broad consensus that though each energy source had its advantages and disadvantages, a generation mix of renewable energy and storage provision or carbon capture as appropriate, which will ensure security of supply, is the best solution for the Isle of Man.

Mr Peake asked the members if they would consent to their names being made public in association with the Citizens Forum and members were subsequently asked to confirm this in writing.

Post session task: There are 8 types of technology available to us. In a pie chart independently distribute what percentage of the 8 types should make up energy generation on the Isle of Man. Please provide your rationale if you wish, along with any other input from your discussions with your community contacts or sector that you represent.

The 8 types of technology are:

  • Solar
  • Onshore & Offshore
  • Wind
  • Nuclear
  • Biomass
  • Tidal
  • Hydro
  • Carbon Capture

We would appreciate you emailing in your pie chart and wider feedback by 30th April if possible, so the Climate Change Transformation Board can factor it in to next steps in developing the Island’s Energy Strategy.

The members were reminded that there will be a further webinar on 11 March where the details and invite would be emailed to them.

Recording of the presentation from Ove Arup is available on YouTube.

Some pictures from the evening:

Climate change forum 24 February - Energy supply collage with attendees

Climate change forum 24 February - Energy supply notes collage

Climate change forum 24 February - Energy supply note

11 March 2021 - Impact of Climate Change on the Isle of Man - Webinar

6 May 2021 - Mother Nature Deserves a Living Wage - Webinar

24 May 2021 - Low Carbon Lifestyles

Citizens’ Forum on Climate Change – Session 4, 24th May 2021 

Low Carbon Lifestyles

For our fourth session the members met back in the Barool Suite and we started the evening by watching a short video: Lifestyle change and system change are two sides of the same coin.

This was to get the forum thinking of how we can make small changes that make an impact. The video discusses the need for individual lifestyle changes alongside fundamental system change to reach our net zero goals together. After the short video and before our next presenters, the members talked to their neighbour about the question ‘how do you hear about things? What influences you?’  their thoughts were captured on post it notes which were collected after a quick break. Facebook came out as the most popular form of communication channel; we have captured some of the other forms of news/communication used by the members in the word cloud below:

 Low Carbon Lifestyles word cloud

After the quick exercise there was a presentation by Jo Swift from Greenhouse PR, who presented their insights work conducted for the Island’s Change & Engagement plan using the ‘COM-B’ model and the results of interviews they carried out with members of the public and the forum. Greenhouse also talked about how everyone can get involved, and if the net zero target by 2050 feels achievable. Jo also touched upon the ‘Britain Thinks’ research on attitudes to climate change.

From the interviews carried out by Greenhouse and using the conclusions from the COM B model, the Isle of Man community is absolutely committed to the economics of ‘Green Recovery’ There is a mixed attitude to climate change on the Island and net zero, but growing support for the measures that need to be taken. Naturally there are concerns of how the Island will achieve this in terms of cost and the scale of what needs to be done.  The COM-B model showed that the Islanders need more information around how they would get to net zero, that the end goal of 2050 felt too far away and that it was difficult to see the effects of Climate Change on our Island.

The slides from the evening were emailed to the forum members and provide a comprehensive overview of the results from the interviews.

The members had a question and answer session with Jo; some of the questions and answers are below:

  • Q: How many people were interviewed?  A: 10 people were interviewed across different demographics, the survey that was conducted however, included more than 1000 members of the community.
  • Q: What are the concerns regarding cost? A: The cost factor came up many times regarding things like electric cars, heating homes, and suitable local food.
  • Q: In research and interviews, did you have any view on travel off island (by necessity?) Yes – increased need to travel. 50% of travel emissions are shared with UK. 

The forum discussed with their neighbour what resonated with them from Jo’s presentation.

There was a quick break before our second presentation of the evening from Vivid who are working on our campaign.

 24 May - workshop 124 May - workshop 2

24 May - workshop 3

After the break, Vivid presented their campaign and the messaging which could be used to raise awareness of reaching net zero by 2050.

After the presentation there was a chance for the forum members to question Vivid on their campaign. The questions and comments that were raised, gave way to a lively and honest debate with Vivid and the forum members. The Forum members didn’t feel that the campaign identified with the Island, it was too urban/stark and that the tagline felt too similar to other recent campaigns. They felt that the insights work didn’t necessarily match to the final campaign. The team were asked why local companies were not considered as part of the bidding process for our campaign, as Vivid are a UK company who have worked with the Island for 8 years. The members expressed that any local company should be the preferred option. The team explained they are if they meet the criteria for the assignment, in this case no local company matched the brief set for the campaign in terms of price and quality.

There was no time for the exercise part of the evening as the ongoing debate and discussion regarding Vivid’s campaign swallowed up our remaining time. The forum members did articulate very well their thoughts regarding the campaign, and the important subjects they wished to debate and understand.

Although the exercises are a crucial part in producing the output which feeds into policy decisions, the members would like more time to have in depth discussions and debate, and this is something the team will account for in the next two forums we have left for 2021.

A snippet of the feedback we received in the discussions were:

  • Members would like a feedback loop between the board and themselves – potentially by having one member from the forum attend.
  • Members would like to see climate change fed into wider government department policies.
  • There should be a more streamlined procurement process- this is due for review and will be taken into account.   

We have noticed a decline in our numbers at the last two forums, if you no longer wish to be a part of the Citizens Forum, please reply and we shall make sure you are taken off our mailing list.

8 July 2021 - Smart Meter - Webinar

You can watch the webinar below:

22 July 2021 - Future Energy Scenarios - Webinar

30 September 2021 - Blue Carbon - Webinar

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