‘What should Leeds do about the emergency of climate change?’
This was the question that 25 randomly selected residents from across the Leeds city region agreed to thrash out over nine sessions between September and November 2019.
Their bold recommendations make fascinating reading, taking back control of the local bus services into public ownership, the halting of local airport expansion, retrofitting of housing through local social enterprises and more.
The Leeds Climate Change Citizens Jury was commissioned by the Leeds Climate Commission. We at Shared Future were privileged enough to be invited to organise and facilitate the process. Project design was overseen by a project oversight panel made up of a hugely diverse group of key local organisations from the City Council to Extinction Rebellion and youth climate strikers to the Chamber of Commerce. They met parallel to the Citizens’ Jury to agree how best to recruit the participants and who the commentators or expert witnesses should be that present to the jury.
On the final day of their deliberations all members of the citizens Jury wrote a jointly agreed statement which precedes their recommendations:
‘We are a diverse group, unified in our passion to resolve this issue. We have had the opportunity to challenge our own and each other’s preconceptions. We have concluded that we are at a crisis point’.
‘Leeds led the world in the industrial revolution – we believe the city can now lead an environmental revolution’.
Shared Future’s Peter Bryant, the lead facilitator for the process commented
‘The Leeds Climate Change Citizens’ Jury, shows what can happen when a randomly selected group of local residents are brought together and trusted to navigate their way through this incredibly complicated and important issue. By considering a very open question and also having the power to decide on some of the topics under consideration themselves, the jury members were able to produce a bold and imaginative set of recommendations which should be of interest to both local and national policymakers’.
The full report is downloadable here