The insights of everyday people can make climate policy more robust. Citizens bring a different way of looking at policy from those who work within climate governance communities. They can bring new ways of approaching problems and articulating solutions that are attuned to their interests, needs and attitudes.
Climate assemblies can challenge embedded social and climate inequalities. Selection by democratic lottery ensures that everyday people with very different backgrounds are in the room. Established and powerful interests (fossil fuel lobbies, political parties, etc.) cannot dominate the deliberations.
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Climate assemblies can help break political deadlocks on climate action. Politicians across the world have been too slow to react to the climate crisis, despite the clarity of science on the need for action and the availability of policy tools. When given the chance to participate, citizens are often ahead of politicians, giving political leaders the confidence and willingness to take action.
Climate assemblies can increase the legitimacy and public acceptance of social action on climate. As the transition to low-carbon futures unfold, it will impact people’s everyday lives more directly. Knowing that fellow citizens have been part of the decision-making processes increases public confidence and consent to challenging decisions.
Climate assemblies can promote a more climate aware and politically confident citizenry. Through participation, everyday people learn more about the climate crisis and develop the skills and confidence to participate more fully in climate action at individual and collective levels.