German environmental NGOs launch citizens' climate council to advise lawmakers
Clean Energy Wire / Tageszeitung (taz)
The Scientists for Future organisation and the Bürgerbegehren Klimaschutz (BBK) climate action group have launched a citizen's climate council. The NGOs have assembled a group of 160 randomly selected citizens in an effort to get the public involved in pushing for political action and develop recommendations for strong climate policy. The NGOs have also won former German President Horst Köhler as a prominent patron for the initiative, giving the project more political weight. As part of the initiative, members will meet over a two-month period beginning on 26 April, listen to experts from various fields and work out recommendations. The recommendations will be presented to politicians in Autumn, so they can be taken into account in the new coalition's negotiations, the groups write. While the recommendations are non-binding and could be ignored by German lawmakers, organisers say the results will show that the population is ready for effective climate protection. “A citizens’ council brings people from different realities into conversation with one another,” BBK head Percy Vogel said to media outlet taz. “In this way, the citizen’s climate council can provide political leaders with a basis for decisive directional decisions and at the same time counteract the progressive divergence of society.”
Similar citizens' climate councils in France and Ireland have produced surprisingly concrete and far-reaching recommendations in recent years, Schwarz adds.