Public participation is a key strategy for effective climate action. Cities and other institutions can use participatory processes to build consensus around the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change’s effects. They can also identify specific climate-related projects and policies that respond to local needs.
Climate democracy can take many forms. When choosing which approach to take, consider which communities are most affected by climate change, your city’s participation history and infrastructure; and the financial and human resources available. A combination of initiatives may be effective. For example, participatory budgeting (PB) could be used to allocate resources to neighborhood-level projects, based on the high-level policy recommendations of a citywide citizens’ assembly.
Local governments are increasingly using participatory budgeting to address climate change, with residents. There are three basic types of PB process to address climate change:
Many cities and countries are using climate assemblies, one form of climate democracy, to give people power over climate decision-making. This graphic explains how the process works:
Participatory policymaking and legislative theater can also be used to give people power over climate decision-making. Keep reading to see how local governments around the world are practicing climate democracy!
You don’t get an opportunity to influence government policy very often and climate change is really important.
- Leia, UK Climate Assembly member
There isn’t — nor should there be — a one-size-fits-all method for participatory climate action.
Climate Democracy in Action
Participatory Planning: Banjarmasin, Indonesia
Climate Assembly: Camden, England
Participatory Budgeting: Lisbon, Portugal
Legislative Theater: Glasgow, Scotland