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Climate Change Citizens’ Assembly – contract awarded to Involve

05 September 2019

The contract to run the Citizens’ Assembly has been awarded to Involve.

Involve, who ran the Citizens’ Assembly on Social Care with two Select Committees in April 2018, will be working in partnership with mySociety and Sortition Foundation. Work on the scope, timeframe and programme for the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change will now begin. Details of assembly sessions, programme, and questions tackled by the assembly will be announced at a later date.

Involve is a public participation charity, with a mission to put people at the heart of decision-making. They are leading advocates and practitioners of citizens’ assemblies in the UK.

mySociety is a UK-based NGO founded in 2003 that helps people be active citizens with technology, research and data, used by individuals, journalists, and civil society in over 40 countries around the world.

The Sortition Foundation is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote and institute sortition in citizens' assemblies. They have pioneered the use of civic lotteries in the UK.

The Citizens’ Assembly on combatting climate change is being hosted by six Commons Select Committees (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Environmental Audit; Housing, Communities and Local Government; Science and Technology; Transport; and Treasury).

The Citizens’ Assembly is designed to explore views on reaching net zero emissions by 2050, such as the fair sharing of potential costs and the acceptability of different policy options. The results will feed into future Select Committee work, as well as inform political debate and Government policy making.

What is a Citizens' Assembly?

A citizens’ assembly is a group of people who are brought together to discuss an issue or issues and reach a conclusion about what they think should happen. The people who take part are chosen to reflect the wider population – in terms of demographics (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity, social class) and sometimes relevant attitudes (e.g. preferences for a small or large state).
Citizens’ assemblies give members of the public the time and opportunity to learn about and discuss a topic with a wide range of experts, before reaching conclusions. Assembly members are asked to consider trade-offs between different policy options and arrive at workable recommendations.

Citizens’ assemblies, and other similar methods, have been used in the UK and other countries – including Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United States – to address a range of complex issues.

Select Committees have used citizens’ assemblies in their work previously. For example, the Health and Social Care Select Committee and the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee commissioned a citizens’ assembly as part of their joint inquiry into the long term funding of adult social care.

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