By Tim Hughes
Former Director (2017 to 2021)
The citizens' assembly brought together over 50 randomly selected residents from Camden during July 2019 to develop an approach for how Camden can best tackle the climate crisis. The citizens' assembly developed and agreed on 17 actions, which were presented by two of its members to the full council meeting last night. The action plan received unanimous support in a vote by councillors.
The actions will now set the direction for a new Climate Action Plan for Camden to be published in 2020.
Put simply, the climate emergency is the most serious threat that our planet and its people face. We have reduced carbon dioxide emissions in Camden by over 38% over the last 10 years, and we were very pleased that Friends of the Earth recently ranked Camden top in London for our climate work. But we know we need to go further, more urgently – and the Citizens’ Assembly process helped us sharpen our focus on what needs to be done.
We now need to translate the proposals into community-led action and borough-wide policies to develop a new Climate Action Plan for Camden and make a radical difference.
Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for Improving Camden's Environment
At Involve, we led the design, facilitation and reporting of the citizens' assembly, along with partners at the council and Democratic Society. The citizens’ assembly met over two evening sessions and one Saturday to hear evidence, deliberate and make recommendations to the council and the wider community.
The citizens’ assembly was asked to address the question:
“WE ARE NOW FACING A CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL CRISIS. HOW CAN THE COUNCIL AND THE PEOPLE OF CAMDEN HELP LIMIT THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE WHILE PROTECTING AND ENHANCING OUR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT? – WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO IN OUR HOMES, NEIGHBOURHOODS, COUNCIL AND COUNTRY?”
Across its three sessions, the citizens’ assembly heard a range of evidence outlining the facts of the climate and ecological crisis and the ways in which it can be tackled, before developing and agreeing 17 actions that should be taken by residents, community groups, businesses and the council in Camden.
More information, including the citizens' assembly report, can be found on the project page.