WHAT IS EXTINCTION REBELLION’S THIRD DEMAND?
“GOVERNMENT MUST CREATE AND BE LED BY THE DECISIONS OF A UK-WIDE CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY ON CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE”
In these challenging times it is essential to pause, take stock and think about what’s next. We need to make sure that we don’t revert back to bad, environmentally damaging habits. When we are able to re-open our doors, what sort of a world do we want to enter into? How can we move forward into a more caring, sustainable future and live better?
Citizens’ Assemblies are a trusted way for doing just that; for coming together as a nation and taking the bold decisions needed to face the climate and ecological emergency. Our third demand requires the Government to call for a Citizens’ Assembly, to make sure that it has real bite and that its recommendations are taken seriously.
WHY NOT LEAVE IT UP TO THE POLITICIANS?
Citizens’ Assemblies are good at dealing with big, wide-ranging and complex problems. We urgently need solutions that everyone can get behind and politicians need our help!
Extinction Rebellion believes that part of the problem is the way electoral politics works:
- Political power in the UK is in the hands of a few elected politicians. Over the last 40 years, this system has proved incapable of making the long-term decisions needed to deal with the climate and ecological emergency. Politicians simply can’t see past the next election.
- Members of parliament are lobbied by powerful corporations, seek sympathetic media coverage, and calculate their policies based on potential public reactions and opinion polls. This leaves many of them either unable or unwilling to make the bold changes necessary to address the emergency.
A Citizens’ Assembly can break the deadlock:
- A Citizens’ Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice will empower citizens to take the lead so that politicians are less fearful of political backlash.
- Citizens’ Assemblies are fair and transparent: Briefing materials and speakers are all vetted to ensure a broad range of opinion; random selection of assembly members means that we all have an equal chance of taking part; good facilitation means everybody is heard; all of the materials provided are openly published for the public to see.
- Citizens’ Assemblies are especially useful when difficult trade-offs are necessary. For example, experts might propose different policies for how to get to net-zero along with the pros and cons of each. The assembly would decide which they think is the best option.