Leicester’s first climate assembly took place this weekend, bringing together more than 50 local people to help shape the city’s response to the climate emergency.
The meeting, which was held at City Hall on Saturday (18 Jan), brought together a cross section of people in Leicester to deliberate on the city’s draft plans to become carbon neutral as soon as possible.
It was part of a major 12-week programme of consultation activities launched by the city council to let people have their say on how Leicester will need to respond to the global climate crisis.
The day involved a series of discussions and workshops run by the city council with support from independent grass roots democracy experts Talkshop and The RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce), a charity with a 30,000 strong fellowship that aims to build networks and help people to collaborate and influence social change.
Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who gave the welcoming address to the climate assembly, said: “This is the first time the city council has brought together an assembly in this way and the feedback from the day will play a really important part in Leicester’s wider climate emergency consultation.
“Responding to the climate emergency will mean making big changes to the way we live and work. It affects us all and that’s why getting the public involved in helping to shape how the city responds is so important.
“It was very encouraging that so many people were prepared to invest their time in our first Climate Assembly. The feedback and ideas from the sessions will be a vital part of wider climate emergency conversation.
“We’re also very excited to be hosting a young person’s assembly next week, and there is still plenty of time for people across the city to let us have their views as part of the online consultation.”
Riley Thorold, researcher at the RSA, said: “The evidence on the climate emergency is undeniable, but any successful action needs the support of communities. It’s great to see Leicester bringing evidence and the public together in deliberative events like this.
“An effective response to the climate emergency will require social and political action which in turn requires public buy-in. There will be major social, political and economic obstacles – many of which are not yet apparent – and Leicester residents need to be on-board with this journey.”
A young people’s climate assembly – which will bring together schoolchildren from across Leicester – is due to take place at City Hall on Monday 27 January.
The consultation on Leicester’s response to the climate emergency runs until Monday 9 February. To take part, visit consultations.leicester.gov.uk
An online discussion forum has also been launched at dialogue.leicester.gov.uk/climate-emergency-conversation