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Local Democracy Talks – Participatory Climate Action: Local Government Innovations

September 15 kl. 15:00 16:00

Can local democracy be a solution to climate change? What are the limitations and what aspects of local democracy can be leveraged to save the climate?

Local governments on every continent are developing solutions that empower residents to address climate change and its impacts. This panel brings together a group of actors from all over the world to share their experiences of democratic innovations that promote involvement and participation of citizens in response to climate change.

On August 9th, against the backdrop of shattered temperature records and terrifying fires and floods, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered its starkest warning yet about climate change. The IPCC report provided unequivocal proof that humans are responsible and clarified the relationship between climate change and intensifying specific weather events, such as extreme heat waves and heavy rainfall. It is “a reality check [that gives us] a clearer picture of the past, present and future climate, which is essential for understanding where we are headed, what can be done, and how we can prepare” (IPCC, 2021).

But as it is increasingly obvious that more must be done to reverse the current trajectory, figuring out what action to take on climate change remains politically difficult: It means changing many policies and practices that are deeply rooted in our way of life.

In a democratic system, where political leaders are accountable to voters for their actions, decisions that force citizens to change their behavior may not be rewarded. This unavoidable feature of the system itself has even led to the accusation that, when it comes to climate change, democracy is more of a problem than a solution. On the other hand, even in societies where large majorities of people prefer ambitious action to address climate change, the influence of special interests and other factors prevent the adoption of the necessary laws and public policies.

By reaching out to politicians and practitioners and share examples of democracy initiatives that helps achieve the SDGs at the local level, the panel aims to be a starter for conversation and action.

By attending this event, you will be able to:

  • Learn about case studies of local participatory climate action in Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe.
  • Access practical resources on participatory climate initiatives, including climate assemblies and climate-sensitive participatory budgeting.
  • Sign up for free mentorship from a local climate democracy expert.

Panel Participants:

  • Moderator: Kelly McBride, FutureGov, UK.

This event is organised in collaboration with the following organisations:

People Powered

  • People Powered is a global hub for participatory democracy – the direct participation of community members in making the policy decisions that affect their lives.

International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD)

  • IOPD is a space open to all cities in the world and all associations, organizations and research centers interested in learning about, exchanging impressions and applying experiences of participatory democracy on a local scale with the aim of deepening the roots of democracy in municipal government.

Shipyard Foundation

  • Shipyard Foundation creates and supports effective solutions to social challenges, involving citizens in deciding on public matters and helping organizations and local governments plan and implement social activities.

The Field of Dialogue Foundation

  • The Field of Dialogue Foundation aims to support the participation of citizens in public life and to create tools to facilitate dialogue.

Montreal Urban Ecology Center

  • The Montreal Urban Ecology Center develops and offers practices and urban policies that help create cities on a human scale. For nearly 25 years, the Center has enabled thousands of citizens to actively participate in urban planning projects, and organizations and decision-makers to design safe and friendly public spaces that respond to the needs of their citizens.

Kota Kita

  • Kota Kita helps people make thoughtful and inclusive decisions about the development of their cities – by facilitating citizen participation and collective action. They aim to empower a generation of people by promoting democratic and participatory approaches to improve urban areas.