National climate consultation as citizen participation example

National climate consultation as citizen participation example

Many European countries have agreed to do more to combat climate change. This includes the Netherlands. The government will have to decide what measures it will take to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2. The parliament has previously indicated that they would like to involve society in this.

What did we examine?

Windmills on land, increasing the price of gas or a meat tax after all? What measures do Dutch citizens want? That’s what researchers from TU Delft and Utrecht University wanted to know. We helped them create a consultation on our citizen participation platform Wevaluate. More than 10,000 Dutch people participated!

What does a PWE consultation look like?

This question is easiest to answer with an example. Citizens are shown 10 measures that reduce greenhouse gases. They are given information about the consequences of each measure. They can then indicate, for each measure, to what extent they think the government should implement it. The measures that participants recommend must, as a minimum, ensure that CO2 emissions are reduced by 27 megatonnes. They can also spend a maximum of 15 billion euros. In the second part, citizens give arguments for their choices and they can pass on their own ideas to the government. Opponents of climate policy can also indicate that they do not want the government to take any measures.

Is there support for the PWE method among citizens?

In the first week, the climate consultation was done by a representative group of Dutch citizens via a panel. We saw that participants across the political spectrum were very enthusiastic about the consultation. For each political party, the vast majority of voters think the PWE method is a good way to involve Dutch citizens in the choices the government has to make about climate policy. They also think that the government should use the method more often to involve Dutch citizens in government policy.

What does the client think?

Curious about what the client thinks of the research and the collaboration? Read here the interview of the NWO with Ed Nijpels and Niek Mouter.

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Partners in this project

“In this way the government brings itself closer to the citizens; it makes their decisions more credible.”

Participant consultation

“You have certainly given me insight as to why the government must sometimes proceed with acrimonious actions. Thank you for this insight.”

Participant consultation

Mede-oprichter & Wetenschappelijk Directeur Populytics - Niek Mouter

Niek Mouter
Co-founder & Scientific Director

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