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How should environmental NGOs engage with climate assemblies? New guide available

March 17, 2022

Based on the experience of the Youth Regional Citizen’s Climate Assembly that recently took place in Estonia, this useful guide provides advice to climate NGOs on how to better engage with climate assemblies.

Climate Assemblies as a Tool for Environmental Associations in Moving Towards Climate Goals is written by Maris Jõgeva from the Estonian Fund for Nature and is a product of her experience whilst acting as the Chief Organiser of the recent Youth Climate Assembly in Ida-Viru county, a heavily industrialised region where many young people tend to move away after leaving school.

The assembly was delivered by the NGOs Fund for Nature (ELF) and Green Tiger (Rohetiiger) with the support of the regional authority, which is now considering how the 26 proposals will be included in the region’s Just Transition Plan. Held in November and December 2021, it was Estonia’s first climate assembly. The participants were young people aged 16–29 and the main question was “How to ensure that the transition to a climate-friendly future is fair for young people.” The proposals have been discussed with the country’s President when some of the assembly participants presented them in-person.

The guide provides recommendations in three main areas:

  1. The benefits of climate assemblies;
  2. The importance of skilful framing of the topic and the main question;
  3. The importance for NGOs to consider carefully how they carry out their combined role as a stakeholder representative on climate issues and an independent organiser of an assembly.

Following the success of this initiative, climate NGOs in Estonia intend to run further assemblies. The next is expected to be on the topic of mobility in the city of Tartu.

The themes of this guide resonate with KNOCA’s current Knowledge Development Project that aims to understand the barriers and opportunities to improve understanding of and support for climate assemblies amongst climate policy actors led by Alina Averchenkova

Useful links:

Visit the website of the Regional Youth Citizens’ Climate Assembly.

Read the report and 26 proposals of the Assembly in Estonian and in Russian.

Previous KNOCA news piece on Estonia’s Regional Youth Climate Assembly

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