In Luxembourg, a citizens' assembly is to set the course for climate action. 100 randomly selected people have begun their deliberations on 29 January 2022. With the support of experts, the 100 participants will discuss concrete climate issues.
"More than ever, we need a social consensus on how we want to tackle the climate crisis together," Prime Minister Xavier Bettel had said in a State of the Union address on 12 October 2021. "Climate policy concerns us all. Because it affects us all at the heart of our coexistence. How do we want to live in the future? What kind of planet do we want to leave to future generations? The climate issue is a social issue. That is why we also need society at the table when we discuss further climate measures," said Bettel, explaining his push for the Citizens' Assembly.
"Time for an innovative democratic project"
Extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures. It was time for an innovative democratic project, which had not yet existed in this form in Luxembourg. It is time to involve society in climate policy negotiations.
The starting point for the discussions in the Citizens' Assembly will be the National Energy and Climate Plan, which already contains a number of ambitious goals and measures. The 100 citizens will discuss how far they want to go beyond this climate plan.
Citizens' Assembly meets until mid-2022
Interested citizens had until 19 January 2022 to register or were contacted at random by TNS-Ilres. The selection process was then carried out by the opinion research institute, taking into account gender, age (16 years and older), occupation, level of education, nationality and cross-border commuter. Assembly members are compensated 125 Euros per meeting, the same amount that MPs receive for attending committee meetings. An information meeting will be held on 29 January, partly with the aim of bringing the 100 selected participants (60 effective members, 40 substitute members) up to the same level of knowledge on energy and climate policy.
The actual work of the Climate Assembly is to continue until mid-2022. The goal is for the newly created body to submit proposals by the summer break on what Luxembourg can do in its climate policy beyond the measures already anchored today in the Plan national intégré en matière d'énergie et de climat (PNEC). The proposals formulated by the assembly will then be the subject of a parliamentary debate and the conclusions are to be included in the PNEC mid-term review scheduled for 2023.