The impact of assemblies can take time, especially on climate policy. A number of different impacts can already be documented.
Impact on policy
The Irish Climate Action Bill (2020) incorporated the majority of the recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly 2016-18.
The Climate and Resilience Bill (2021) translated a number of the measures proposed by the French Citizens’ Convention for the Climate into law, although many were in a modified form.
The updated National Energy and Climate Plan submitted to the European Commission by the Luxembourg government in 2023 incorporated new measures and strengthened existing measures based on the Climate Citizens’ Council.
Impact on institutions
The Climate Change Committee in the UK used the recommendations from Climate Assembly UK to frame its Sixth Carbon Budget and has integrated deliberative methods into its work.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Climate Action established to consider the Irish Citizens’ Assembly’s recommendations was made a permanent body.
The Danish Climate Assembly has been given same status as (sectoral) social partnerships.
Impact on the public
The French Convention stimulated extensive public debate on climate transition that raised its salience amongst politicians.
The level of knowledge of the assembly amongst the Austrian public was fairly high.
Experimental evidence indicates that the public has more trust and confidence in citizens’ assemblies than other political institutions.
Impact on participants
Strong and consistent effects on the attitudes and behaviours of members towards climate action can be found across almost all assemblies, with evidence from the UK that this is sustained and even enhanced over time.
KNOCA is undertaking further work on the variety of impacts of climate assemblies.
We promote the use of the KNOCA Impact Evaluation Framework.
Our guidance highlights the key drivers of impact in designing climate assemblies.