The first nationwide Climate Assembly presented the citizens’ recommendations today in the presence of two participants and the patron, former German President Horst Köhler. The more than 80 groundbreaking recommendations for German climate policy in the areas of mobility, buildings and heating, food, and energy were developed by 160 randomly drawn citizens in over 50 hours of meetings.
"The 1.5° target has top priority. Climate protection is a human right and must be included in the constitution. Each new law is to be examined for its climatic protection effect", starts the ambitious recommendation letter of the Climate Assembly. All recommendations can be seen at https://buergerrat-klima.de/die-ergebnisse.
Regarding the working method and the results:
Former German President Horst Köhler:
"For me, the Climate Assembly sends a strong message: don't underestimate citizens - their willingness to change and also their willingness to join in the search for ways out of the climate crisis. There are solutions, and these solutions are what we need to wrestle with now. In this way, the Climate Assembly is at the same time a sign against discouragement, resignation and doubts about the ability of democracy to overcome crises."
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lucht of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and member of the German government's Advisory Council on the Environment:
"The Climate Assembly has sent a clear signal to politicians and the public. For the first time, a representative citizens' assembly with scientific support has produced an independent vote on measures for more climate protection. The recommendations adopted show that citizens are prepared to do more for climate protection than they are often given credit for in the political debate. An important factor in this process was the intensive and critical examination by the Climate Assembly and its working groups of the information and data that had been made available from science, professional practice and politics. The recommendations that have now been adopted are an excellent basis for future climate policy in Germany. They should be understood as a mandate by policymakers."
Citizens' Assembly members Mareike Menneckemeyer and Adnan Arslan are two of the 160 participants in the Citizens' Assembly on Climate.
Mareike Menneckemeyer, 37, from Schwarzenbruck in Bavaria:
"It's no longer about whether we do something, but about what we do and how we achieve it quickly - and that's by taking with us as many people as possible. The social issue was particularly important to me. There are people in this country who live on nothing but noodles and toast at the end of the month because they cannot afford more. And they must not be the losers of climate policy. With what we've accomplished here, I can say to my children: we've really worked out something great with this citizens' assembly."
Adnan Arslan, 32, from Velbert in North Rhine-Westphalia:
"I was very skeptical at the beginning. What could 160 people do? Why should anyone be interested in my opinion? And then I realized that everyone felt the same way. The Climate Assembly really represented the whole of society. I have a migrant background myself and am proud to be able to participate as part of this society and to help influence decisions regarding the future. We also want to send a signal to politicians with the recommendations, namely that we are ready to cooperate, that our ideas, the ideas of ordinary citizens, can be more valuable than people think."
The recommendations of the Climate Assembly, with the support of the scientific board of trustees, will be recorded in a citizens' report and handed over to all parties in the Bundestag.
The statement of the Federal President and further information can be found at: www.buergerrat-klima.de/presse
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Democracy International fights to strengthen direct democracy and citizen participation worldwide. Our work centres around fostering direct democracy, citizen participation and transparent decision-making, as well as supporting activists around the world. As part of this mission, Democracy International informs its subscribers on a range of citizens participation processes such as the Climate Assembly. However, we are not an organiser of the Assembly itself.