Camden Citizens’ Assembly to take on climate crisis challenge


Camden is at the heart of London – and has today set out its determination to lead the way and do its bit to take on the climate crisis.

Across this summer, a Camden Citizens’ Assembly will meet across three sessions on 1, 11 and 20 July, assisted by Professor Mark Maslin from University College London, community energy leaders 10:10, environmental building experts and local green groups. It will coincide with the Mayor of London’s first ever London Climate Action Week which will take place between 1-8 July 2019.

Farhana Yamin from Extinction Rebellion will be joining Councillor Leader Georgia Gould to open the Citizens’ Assembly on the climate crisis.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden, said: “We are asking residents, businesses, environmental groups, our voluntary and community organisations — and anyone who cares about the climate crisis — to share their ideas, thoughts and suggestions for change via our Commonplace platform. This platform will give experts the opportunity to support the work of the citizens with technical information, ideas, solutions and inspiration.

“We need to make changes at every level. You can submit ideas to the Citizens' Assembly on how CO2 emissions can be reduced at four different scales: ‘At home’, ‘In my neighbourhood’, ‘My council’ and ‘My country’.”

To submit an idea on how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Camden visit the online platform Commonplace.

Camden Council wants residents, businesses, schools and voluntary and community groups to get involved, find ways of reducing carbon emissions and set a gold-standard of sustainability for London.

At its last Council meeting, Camden Council committed to going further on tackling global heating and building on the work it has already started on confronting poor air quality, making our housing estates more energy efficient through installing communal heat networks and working with residents to tackle the challenges of waste, recycling and single-use plastic.

Camden has already reduced its CO2 emissions by 32% since 2010, so comes from a good place, but now needs everyone to pool resources collectively and understand this really complex issue, to drive further lasting change. This may mean quite radical changes to making every aspect of our lives greener.

The community efforts will set the direction of a new Environmental Plan for Camden to be published in May 2020, as well as leading to the creation of localised initiatives and action, right from individual homes, to whole streets, to borough-wide action.

More about the Citizens' Assembly:

The Citizens’ Assembly will comprise of people with diverse views about the climate crisis from a representative range of backgrounds across Camden.

During three meetings, participants will learn how the climate crisis is already affecting Camden and communities around the world. They will develop an understanding of how significant carbon dioxide reduction can be technically achieved in Camden, as well as the trade-offs and costs required to secure the deep decarbonisation needed to limit global temperature rises.

To inspire ideas, assembly members will hear from community energy groups, academics, renewable energy experts and other cities about how decarbonisation has been achieved in other settings. The Assembly will then move on to deliberate how best to address the climate emergency in Camden at different scales of intervention. Citizens will then be asked to design a new set of proposals across varying scales: streets, schools, businesses, neighbourhoods, borough, London, UK and international.

The Citizens’ Assembly meetings will take place as follows:

Monday, 1 July 2019 (6-9pm): Setting the scene and brief for the Citizen’s Assembly.

Thursday, 11 July 2019 (6-9pm): Sharing ideas and discussing pathways for the future.

Saturday, 20 July 2019 (all day): Main deliberation and drawing up of proposals.

In October, Citizens’ Assembly members will be invited to present their proposals to councillors at a Full Council debate. The Council will then have the opportunity to debate the proposals and the Cabinet Member for Improving the Environment will be able to propose a motion on potential new targets.

Schools across Camden will also hold their own assemblies on the climate emergency, supported through Camden’s new Sustainers group. The Sustainers is a network of schools who have come together with local Transition Town groups to develop environmental solutions for Camden. Their findings will directly feed into the Citizens’ Assembly.