Participation that is both technical and political. A typology of the measures of the Citizens’ Convention on Climate

By Selma Tilikete

The formal homogeneity of the six hundred pages of the final report of the French Citizens’ Convention on Climate gives little indication of what the proposal development process might have been. However, various roles were distributed among citizens and experts to enable them to fulfill their mandate, giving rise to proposals that ranged from constitutional reform to establishing thresholds and creating a schedule for renovating buildings to improve their energy efficiency. This article proposes a typology of the Convention’s measures, based on several criteria: their origin, the number and motivation of those proposing the measure, the types of arguments used, the presence of disagreements and how they were dealt with, the frequency and nature of expert support. Using these criteria, five types of measures were distinguished, which we have chosen to call: sectoral generic, technical, restraint, economic regulation, and fundamental. Although the Convention procedures were flexible enough to allow this diversity of possible responses to the climate issue to emerge, the proposals did not find equally fertile ground. In this article we discuss the political issues, showing how each type of measure co-produces both a conception of the environment and a view on the participation of randomly selected citizens in policy-making to respond to the climate challenge.

  • Climate
  • climate assembly
  • science and technology studies
  • participation
  • drawn by lots
  • expertise
  • France
  • French Citizens’ Convention on Climate
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