Climate and participative democracy

Jun 29th 2021

1. Climate & democracy – Referendum on climate policies: a well structured Europe-wide vote is essential for sustainable solutions. Citizens need to be given a direct voice in shaping the EU’s climate policy.
– EU climate assembly
The EU should involve representative, randomly-selected citizens’ assemblies in the climate policy-making process. Randomly-selected citizens, after deliberation and after input from experts, should develop policy recommendations drafted into a report, which is handed over to the EU institutions to help set the agenda of the EU.
– European citizens’ initiatives should have more impact
There are a number of European citizens’ initiatives related to climate, such as, however, European citizens’ initiatives, whether successful or not, should have a greater chance at having more of an impact and be taken into account by the European Commission
2. Biodiversity
– Reforming agricultural subsidies: intensive agricultural practices destroy biodiversity. The EU needs to redirect agricultural subsidies from livestock farming to sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture by investing more in projects that take measures to protect biodiversity.
– Strengthening corporate responsibility in biodiversity conservation
Given the great impact that corporations can have on society and nature, the EU should make certain corporate responsibilities binding. Corporations need to commit to the environmental assessment and assess the impact of their business on biodiversity. The EU should provide financial incentives to employers to educate their employees. Transparency label to be included on consumer products giving the information on how well they were produced in terms of protecting biodiversity.
3. Decreasing pollution levels
– Improving the European Emissions Trading System scheme: the European ETS scheme is 15 years old. It is too weak and should be revised. Agriculture especially is a major source of pollution and should be revisited in the ETS scheme.
– Make the carbon pricing system global: compliance and implementation of carbon prices is a solution to mitigate pollution levels. Europe buys products worldwide thus contributing with its demand to the CO2 foreign production. The carbon pricing system cannot be sustainable if it’s not global, and the EU needs to do more to make polluters pay.
– Reform waste systems: waste is also a major cause of pollution. Waste should be recycled as much as possible, and not passed from one Member State to another

Organised by CTOE