It is a common misconception that the Extinction Rebellion are suggesting that we ourselves will run a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
If only we could!
It is really important that we have a Citizens’ Asssembly with real teeth. If Extinction Rebellion were to run a CA themselves it could easily be dismissed by Government and the media. The suggestions made by assembly members would remain suggestions – nice ideas, but who’s going to implement them?
Even Climate Assembly UK, a CA initiated by members of parliament who sit in select committees has no political bite. This is firstly because it was set up before the election in December and so members of the committee have since changed and have no allegiance to the process. Also, the Government has not officially recognised the assembly and can therefore completely ignores its outcomes.
This is why we are demanding a Government led CA that will be run by an independent organisation – not them and not XR. This way the process will be legitimate and the outcomes will have to be taken seriously. This is a model that is currently taking place in France – where the Assembly members have recently insisted on the CA being extended so that they can adequately address the scope of the climate emergency.
Finally – enough about XR and politicians! For the public to take the process seriously there needs to be an appropriate question that will frame the assembly. The public realises that we need to act fast, that the current UK 2050 net zero target is dragging our feet when the end line is rapidly coming into focus. The UK-wide Citizens’ Assembly must deal with the scale, scope and absolute urgency of the problem.