Deliberating on Climate Action: Insights from the French Citizens’ Convention for Climate
Giraudet L-G., B.Apouey, H.Arab, S.Baeckelandt, P.Begout.
Citizens’ assemblies are gaining traction as a means to address complex issues such as climate change. We report on our unique experience in observing debates among the 150 members of the French Citizens’ Convention for Climate and highlight its implications for both climate action and the science of deliberation. We note that France took an original approach characterized by (i) sustained interactions between citizens and the steering board; (ii) a significant input from technical and legal experts; (iii) and a strong emphasis on creating consensus, leaving little room for expressing dissent. This resulted in the citizens approving 149 measures, 146 of which President Macron committed to follow up on. Yet as implementation is now under discussion, the promise that measures would pass “unfiltered” appears increasingly questioned.