Climate Citizens' Forum in Schleswig-Holstein

28. February 2024
Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau (CC BY 2.0 Deed)

The Ministry for Energy Transition, Climate Protection, Environment and Nature of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein wants a randomly selected Citizens' Forum to help with climate protection. On 7 March 2024, invitations were sent out to 3,000 randomly selected residents of the federal state.

"Schleswig-Holstein wants to reach net-zero by 2040, and we are currently working on the interim goal, the 2030 climate protection programme. And because this concerns everyone, we want to hear what citizens think about planned measures in the areas of energy, transport, housing and heating, as well as cost issues, and what ideas they have for successful climate protection," says Environment Minister Tobias Goldschmidt.

Two-stage sortition procedure

Participants are selected in a two-stage process. In the first stage, 3,000 addresses were drawn from the population registers of randomly selected municipalities from every district in Schleswig-Holstein. This ensures that all residents of Schleswig-Holstein potentially have the opportunity to take part in the Citizens' Forum. People are invited to register for participation. In a second step, the final line-up will then be randomly selected from all the responses, taking socio-demographic criteria into account.

In the composition of the 50 participants, value is placed on the greatest possible diversity of socio-demographic characteristics such as gender, local origin, age and educational qualifications. Citizens provide this information themselves when they register their interest in taking part. The most balanced possible urban-rural distribution is also emphasised by specifically selecting large, medium-sized and small municipalities.

Kick-off in May

The launch of the Citizens' Forum is planned for the first weekend in May. After that, there will be weekly online meetings. At the beginning of June, the citizens will finally agree on recommendations for climate protection at a face-to-face meeting. The mini-public will present its recommendations to the state government at the state climate conference in early July 2024. They will be incorporated into the process of finalising the 2030 climate protection programme.

A draft for the 2030 climate protection programme has already been developed on the basis of action plans from the ministries responsible for the emissions sectors. The Citizens' Forum will discuss these measures of the climate protection programme in order to formulate recommendations to the state government for a realistic and successful climate protection policy. In addition to the question of which suitable climate protection instruments should be implemented in Schleswig-Holstein, social aspects such as the distribution of the costs of climate protection will also be the subject of discussion.

Four fields of action

In the Citizens' Forum, topics are put up for discussion that play a central role in the climate protection programme and where there is still scope for action. These belong to the following four fields of action:

Field of action 1: Energy generation/sinks: Expansion of photovoltaics/utilisation of sinks

Field of action 2: Buildings/heating: Municipal heating planning / climate-neutral housing of the future

Field of action 3: Transport: Prioritisation of mobility offers / financing of climate protection in transport

Field of action 4: Social/consumption: Distribution of climate protection costs / CO2 pricing and redistribution options

The Nexus Institute, which has already organised numerous other citizens' assemblies and citizens' forums, has been commissioned to plan and implement the Schleswig-Holstein Climate Citizens' Forum.

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Image license: CC BY 2.0 Deed