ePetition details

Citizens' Assembly On The Climate Crisis

We the undersigned petition Guildford Borough Council to implement a binding citizens' assembly to formulate a plan for the council to tackle the climate emergency. This could be instructed as the first meaningful action of the Climate Change Innovation Board which has the mandate to build a borough-wide plan for tackling climate change.

We applaud Guildford Borough Council in telling the truth and declaring a Climate Emergency in July 2019. We now need to act without delay and involve the residents of Guildford in a citizens’ assembly. We do not need another slow moving local authority committee.

We need action.

Your initiative to have a Climate Change Innovations Board (CCIB) has minimal public involvement and is to report to the GBC Executive within 12 months.

It is an emergency, not business as usual. 12 months is too late. The public need to be with you to formulate climate policies for the council, the area and for individuals – not be held at arm’s length while a committee deliberates.

The residents of Guildford have to be involved to drive climate policy by holding binding citizens’ assemblies on how to tackle our borough’s emissions. This will remove any party political bias and corporate interest from the process, and sidestep decisions being made based on the short-term focus of re-election.

Expert individuals and organisations will be employed to present Guildford constituents with the most appropriate ways to mitigate the threat of climate breakdown and devise a strategy for Guildford reaching net zero, as per the council's commitment on 23rd July 2019.

This will also empower the community in their efforts in tackling the climate emergency, whilst allowing for a truly democratic decision on how we, as a community, combat the climate emergency. The council must be a leader on the crisis, and take every possible opportunity to give the public the power in deciding how our tax-payer funds are used to tackle an existential crisis which affects all of us, as well as our children and generations to come.

At least a dozen other councils have already done this. A citizens’ assembly could be convened within 4 months and report back to the council with binding recommendations with 6 months.

Camden Council is renowned as the leading London borough on climate action (Friends Of The Earth study, Sep ‘19). They initiated a binding Citizens Assembly from which a detailed and realistic 17-point action plan was drawn, and which allowed for immediate action. GBC also ranked well in the FoE study, and as such it is appropriate to follow Camden’s lead and try to climb the league table.

Citizens Assemblies have already proved highly effective in finding democratic solutions to the hardest issues to resolve.

This is an opportunity for GBC to be completely transparent - as per 2019 manifesto pledges - and to work with its constituents in this crisis. There are multiple individuals and bodies locally who can be consulted on this.

We demand that Guildford Borough Council set up a citizens’ assembly on the climate emergency without delay.

Started by: Jessie West

This ePetition ran from 09/01/2020 to 25/03/2020 and has now finished.

235 people signed this ePetition.