26 May 2021 - Stakeholder national workshops

Deliberative dialogue in Spain as a driver of change

Stakeholder engagement and co-creation lies at the core of the H2020 PARIS REINFORCE project, aiming to include stakeholders’ knowledge and expertise in the research process. Until now, the project has involved an important number of policymakers and other institutional stakeholders, at the EU level as well as at national level in Member States and major or less emitting countries across the globe, that have helped co-create research questions. Within the context of the project, policymakers and expert stakeholders in the UNFCCC process were also consulted to interpret the Paris Agreement text in light of future stakeholder lead scenario modelling.

Now, we aim to strengthen the co-creation process with the inclusion of the lay public. To pursue such an objective, project partner BC3, along with 40dB, have just kicked off a deliberative dialogue with 40 citizens representing all ages and regions of Spain, off to a three-week journey of deliberation on pertinent issues regarding the climate crisis. The deliberation focuses on Spanish citizens’ perceptions and feelings on different behavioural changes regarding mobility, consumption, food and waste. Additionally, it will serve to connect people from different backgrounds and locations and reveal policies, interventions, and possibilities on climate action despite differing opinions or paths that were not evident to individuals alone prior to the debate.

The introduction session, conducted online on the 26th of May 2021, will be followed by break out sessions of 5 groups (of 8 citizens each) focusing on more detailed interventions over the next two weeks, giving the space to hear all voices present in the fora. Citizens also have the opportunity to debate on an online platform site with related questions.

The changes produced in citizens’ opinions will be followed by a survey before and after the deliberation, and the results will be compared with a control group. We expect the deliberation process to have an impact on citizens’ perceptions, presenting them with more knowledge on issues related to the climate crisis, but also improving their understanding about the current policies in place and those that are to be implemented in the future. While this does not imply that everyone will adhere to or agree with every policy or behavioural change, it is important to give citizens a space and voice to express their concerns and visions.

Therefore, this dialogue is seen as a means of involving citizens in the discussion and listening to them in return for co-creating solutions to tackle the climate crisis.

Overall, we believe that this experiment could provide many important and interesting insights for the modelling work in PARIS REINFORCE, but also for those in charge of decision making especially in Spain in relation to the upcoming Citizens' Assembly, expanding the impacts of PARIS REINFORCE outside the science-policy realm.