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New publication on Deliberative Democracy and Climate Change

 Deliberative Democracy and Climate Change: Exploring the Potential of Climate Assemblies in the Global South.
The International IDEA publication on Climate Change and Deliberative Democracy: The Potential of Climate Assemblies in the Global South was just published.

The publication, supported by a grant from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and written by Nicole Curato, Graham Smith, and Rebecca Willis, asks how climate assemblies and other deliberative practices can help formulate citizen-owned climate agendas.

The report tracks the experience and lessons learned from climate assemblies in the Global South and Global North and finds that climate assemblies can raise climate policy ambition and create a social mandate for the difficult climate policy choices and trade-offs.

How can deliberative practices such as climate assemblies address some of democracy’s current limitations on climate action? The report suggests that citizen deliberation can:

  • deepen climate governance by involving citizens more directly in policymaking;
  • empower citizens to consider trade-offs and co-develop mutually acceptable outcomes; 
  • break political deadlocks on climate action;
  • transform protest demands into actionable policy recommendations; 
  • decentre elite control of the climate policymaking process; 
  • build the capacity of communities to resist disinformation and resolve civic conflict;  
  • contribute to public deliberation on climate change by engaging the wider public with climate assembly remits and recommendations.

The report shows the diverse deliberative practices in regions such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America, such as the village assemblies in India and Indonesia. It tracks the emerging examples of how climate assemblies and deliberative mini-publics have been rolled out in the Global South and presents lessons from these experiences:

a) climate assemblies can help raise climate policy ambitions; 

b) climate assemblies can extend democratization agendas to reach everyday citizens;  

c) there is a growing body of experience from climate deliberation from the Global South about the purpose, design, and applicability of deliberative principles in new environments.

The report shows how citizen deliberation practices such as climate assemblies can be part of the democratic innovation toolbox for effective climate action.

You can read the complete publication Deliberative Democracy and Climate Change: Exploring the Potential of Climate Assemblies in the Global South or access more information on International IDEA’s Climate Change and Democracy website.

About the authors

David Rosén
Advisor, Climate Change and Democracy
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