From May to September 2021, a group of professionals coordinated and coordinated from the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), and through the Fundació Universitat i Empresa (FUEIB), has been responsible for preparing a study to analyze the viability, relevance and possibility of creating and launching a Citizens' Assembly for the Climate in the Balearic Islands. This study is funded and supported by the European Climate Foundation.
The results of this study will be made public throughout September 2021 and will be made available to the interested public through this platform.
The Climate Citizens' Assemblies
Climate change is a phenomenon that operates in the present and constitutes the greatest threat to humanity during the 21st century, and if it is not acted upon at an unprecedented rate, it will be so in the centuries to come. Although climate change is a global phenomenon, its impacts are local and of various kinds: social, economic, environmental, etc. Therefore, the different governments must take measures to address this great challenge that are aimed at achieving climate neutrality accompanied by mitigation, adaptation and resilience measures. These measures appeal to agents such as businesses but also the public.
Climate citizen assemblies are an innovative tool that combines deliberative democracy and aleatoric democracy to improve and complement representative democracy without offending the activity of existing democratic institutions. “Deliberative democracy” because the assembly itself consists of bringing together a representative part of the citizenry that, through a process informed by experts, is able to propose measures aimed at climate action. "Random democracy" because these citizens are randomly selected based on a sample stratified by criteria such as age, gender, level of education, etc.
Thus, the climate citizens' assemblies of the climate that have been held in other countries of the European environment are an innovative tool to encourage public participation in the development of public policies, to regain confidence in the institutions, to reduce polarization on climate issues and to resolve situations of political deadlock in this matter. All this without forgetting that the ecological transition in which we have immersed ourselves must be socially just and guarantee the well-being of future generations.
Although most citizen climate assemblies have taken place at the state level, institutions such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have made it clear that the governance in so far as climate policies reside not only at the national level, but also at the subnational level. This is due to numerous reasons such as the distribution of powers in the field of environment or energy, or the promotion of citizen participation in climate action at different levels of government. In this line, the realization of a citizen assembly of the climate in the Balearic Islands supposes a pioneering exercise in the state and European context. It can also be a key exercise in proposing measures to help achieve the drastic changes that must occur at an unprecedented rate that are needed to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as indicated by the IPCC in their recent reports.