February 3, 2021

Update: Arrangements for Scotland’s Climate Assembly put before Parliament


Today, a report was laid before the Scottish Parliament outlining the arrangements for Scotland’s Climate Assembly. The report details how members will be selected, governance mechanisms, principles, and budget. Below are some of the new details released.


Assembly Recruitment
The Sortition Foundation has been appointed to recruit assembly members. From next week, 20,000 letters of invitation will be sent to randomly selected households. Of those willing to participate, 100 will be chosen to broadly represent the Scottish population. A number of criteria will be used during the selection process including age, gender, ethnicity, disability, geography, rurality, household income, and attitude towards climate change. All members will receive an appreciatory £200 per weekend. Additional support will be provided to those with caring responsibilities and travel expenses will be reimbursed if required.


The meetings will begin online and will only move to in-person when safe to do so. Training and equipment will be provided to those not digitally connected to ensure that all assembly members have equal opportunity to take part. Planned meeting dates are as followed:
•    7th  and 8th November 2020
•    12nd and 13rd December 2020
•    9th and 10th  January 2021
•    23rd and 24th January 2021
•    20th and 21st February 2021
•    6th and 7th March 2021
Assembly members will have the opportunity to request an additional weekend if they feel it is necessary.


What will Scotland’s Climate Assembly Discuss?
In Scotland, public concern about climate change is high and there are calls for a sustainable, green economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. Scotland already has some ambitious climate targets, including to reach net-zero by 2045. This means that by 2045 Scotland will have to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases it produces to a much lower level than today, and balance its remaining emissions by absorbing the same amount from the atmosphere. Interim targets call for a reduction of 75% by 2030 and 90% by 2040.

To guide Scotland’s Climate Assembly discussions, the Assembly will consider: How should Scotland change to tackle the climate emergency in an effective and fair way?


National Engagement
Unfortunately, not everyone who applies will be invited to become an assembly member, as the Assembly as a whole needs to be broadly representative of Scotland. However, everyone will have an opportunity to shape the Assembly’s deliberation via public consultation. Prior to the Assembly’s first meeting, the public will be invited to submit climate related ideas through an online platform. Submissions will be taken into consideration in the development of the agenda for assembly weekends and as part of the assembly members’ deliberations.

For more details, the full report can be found here.