Sustainable UCL


UCL academics support Camden’s Citizen Assembly on Climate Change

21 June 2019

Academics from UCL are supporting Camden Council to launch its Citizens Assembly on Climate Change. The Citizens Assembly seeks to bring members of the community together to identify the best ways to reduce carbon emissions.

Climate Change

Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) – who was one of David Attenborough's experts in his BBC One film Climate Change: The Facts – will be introducing the Citizen Assembly sessions. He will present on the science of climate change and the potential solutions for both government and individuals.

Professor Simon Lock (UCL Science & Technology) will be helping Camden work out how to get the best out of the Citizen Assembly and also how they can record the detailed discussions and measure outcomes.

The Camden Citizens’ Assembly will meet across three sessions on 1, 11 and 20 July, assisted by Professor Maslin, community energy leaders, 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.

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.

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.