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Citizens' climate assemblies: Understanding public deliberation for climate policy.

Cherry, Catherine ORCID:, Capstick, Stuart ORCID:, Demski, Christina ORCID:, Mellier, Claire, Stone, Lucy and Verfuerth, Caroline ORCID: 2021. Citizens' climate assemblies: Understanding public deliberation for climate policy. [Project Report]. Cardiff: Cardiff University.

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National net-zero targets require ambitious policy and have implications for the way people will live over the coming decades. To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, or sooner, requires active participation across civil society. Citizens’ assemblies on climate change are a promising means by which citizens can be placed at the core of a democratic decision-making process to develop or advise on policies. In this report we show that a diverse cross-section of citizens can come together with minimal prior understanding and conclude in favour of farreaching climate policies, often going further than polls or politicians’ assumptions about public opinion suggest is possible. All the same, there is no single way to run a citizens' assembly on climate change: the ways in which they are designed has an important influence on assembly outcomes and recommendations. In this report, we present an in-depth analysis of the Climate Assembly UK (CAUK), focusing on: a) the design of the process including its structure, scope and framing; b) the deliberations that took place and the underlying values surrounding how to achieve net-zero that they revealed; and c) assembly members' wider perceptions of climate change, derived from follow-up interviews with CAUK participants. We next examine the similarities and differences between the French Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat (CCC) and the UK approach; we also focus on the CCC's consideration of 'consumption’ and question the extent to which this allowed citizens to address the underlying and systemic drivers of unsustainable consumption. Finally, we explore the diversity of local and regional processes within the UK, emphasising their ability to galvanise action despite limitations surrounding the ability to achieve wider public engagement or specific policy recommendations.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Cardiff University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 November 2021
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 10:07

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