September 29, 2020

Check your post! – 20,000 invitations for Scotland’s Climate Assembly mailed this week


Over the coming week, 20,000 invitation letters will be landing on doormats across Scotland inviting people to join Scotland’s citizens’ assembly on climate change.

Citizens’ assemblies bring together people from all walks of life to discuss important issues and have been used across the world. Beginning this week, Scotland’s Climate Assembly will recruit 100 assembly members who are demographically and attitudinally diverse and broadly representative of the Scottish population. They will be asked to deliberate “How should Scotland change to tackle the climate emergency in an effective and fair way?”

Assembly members will be selected via a ‘civic lottery’. This means through random selection, citizens have an equal opportunity to represent the general public. The Sortition Foundation, an independent organisation experienced in selection and stratification, has sent 20,000 invites to randomly selected addresses across Scotland. Those lucky enough to receive an invite will have until the 28th September to register their interest in becoming a member. After registration has closed, a sample of 100 people will be chosen to reflect the demographics of the Scottish population. Several groupings will be used during the stratification process including; age, gender, ethnicity, disability, geography, rurality, household income, and attitude towards climate change. To ensure that all have an equal opportunity to take part, members will receive a £200 gift per weekend. Additional support will be provided to those with caring responsibilities if required.

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform said, “Being a member of Scotland’s Climate Assembly will be both a privilege and a responsibility. People will be asked to learn from experts and each other; to deliberate and to be respectful of others’ views in making recommendations that will impact almost every aspect of our future as we become a net-zero society. I look forward to this invitation receiving a big response from every corner of our society. Scotland’s road to net zero must be one we walk together.”

Participants will go through a three-step process of learning, deliberation, and decision making during the Assembly. They will be presented with a wide range of balanced information from key experts, other stakeholders, and campaigners. They will then have time to discuss what they have heard with one another and decide what they think. Meetings will take place over six weekends and will begin online due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. In-person meeting will only be considered if it is safe, adhering to Scottish Government recommendations. Once the Assembly has ended, the final recommendations will be laid out in a report and presented to Parliament and Scottish Ministers. Ministers are required, within six months, to tell Parliament how they will respond to the recommendations.