PB Partners are delivering a series of free events across the UK in response to the Climate Change emergency.
Participatory Budgeting is an effective way for local authorities, and other statutory bodies to respond to this existential threat, and mobilise and enable communities take action themselves.
Therefore they are running 4 events over June and July to raise awareness and consider how to realise the potential of ‘Our Money, Our Planet’.
This work links directly to a recent blog: Participatory Budgeting and the New Green Deal
Book Places for:
- Edinburgh: 19th June 2019
- Brighton: 25th June 2019
- Bristol: 11th July 2019
- Manchester: 16th July 2019
Find out more about why we are running these events
Participatory Budgeting (PB) – where people vote directly on spending priorities in their local areas, has, over several decades, demonstrated its success at mobilising and enthusing communities around issues that matter to them. Most recently in the UK, Scotland has been taking the lead in Participatory Budgeting, with all 32 Local Authority areas engaged in some form of PB, and an aspiration to allocate 1% of all Local Authority budgets through PB (equating to over £100m) by 2021.
Meanwhile, in the UK, at least 59 Local Authorities have declared a climate emergency. The stance taken by Greta Thunberg over school strikes and the recent Extinction Rebellion protests have helped push the climate emergency toward the top of the political agenda. The recent ‘Green New Deal’ proposal announced in the USA by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez provides a potential focal point for ‘how to do green PB’.
These workshops will provide an opportunity to develop ideas around how PB can best help tackle our impending climate crisis, both at local and strategic levels.
After all, it is our money, and it is our only planet.
In August 2018, Greta Thunberg, a fifteen year old Swedish schoolgirl, went on strike. She sat herself down outside the Swedish Parliament building and began a one-person ‘climate strike’. Just over six months later, schools around the world are now ‘striking for the climate’ on a regular basis. On March 15th, thousands of children across the UK as well as strikers in over 100 other countries skipped school in order to protest
Alan Budge reported in his blog that he was at a Participatory Budgeting (PB) voting event in North Yorkshire a few years ago; one of the participants there, a boy about the same age as Greta, his face glowing with enthusiasm, said
‘This (the PB voting day) has got to be better than general elections or any of that other stuff. It’s brilliant.’
PB Partners been developing its expertise in PB, where people vote directly on spending money in their communities, for over fifteen years now, and during that time have also, in common with millions of others, become progressively more alarmed about the state of the planet.
Making Our Money, Our Planet work for you
At its best, PB evokes genuine passion, real enthusiasm for change, for making a difference: and if one thing above all needs to change today, it’s how we tackle – or are failing to tackle – climate change.
As one of the PB Partners said in conversation with someone living in Norfolk recently, ‘We can do the best PB exercise imaginable, but it will have limited traction if most of East Anglia is under water.’
As well as advocating major infrastructural work around developing renewable energy infrastructure, retro-fitting properties to be more energy efficient and so on, the Green New Deal idea places emphasis on social justice and the need for participants to be meaningfully engaged with the design and delivery of the programme. Which is where PB comes in.
PB Partners know that a local PB event can attract literally hundreds of participants, many new to political engagement.
That is why we are interested in supporting a programme of PB events, developed by and within the many Local Authority areas to have declared a ‘climate emergency’ since December 2018; these events would be ‘green themed’, allowing residents to vote on local environmental initiatives, whilst at the same time creating fertile territory for people to discover, debate and develop more strategic ideas relating to a national programme of green investment and renewal – a green new deal indeed.
We’re also pursuing funding opportunities to develop the programme further, and are looking to hold these initial awareness-raising events, bringing together officers, elected members, environmental organisations and community members, to further develop our thinking around this exciting and timely project.
Forget Brexit: The climate emergency is the biggest challenge we face. We believe our most useful contribution to helping address this existential issue is through using our experience of, and passion for, PB, to help give practical voice to peoples’ all too legitimate concerns around what is looking increasingly like an impending climate catastrophe.