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This Convention is a unique democratic experience in France. Its aim is to give citizens a voice in order to accelerate the fight against climate change.

This Citizen’s Convention on Climate was decided on by the President of the Republic and will bring together 150 citizens, who were chosen at random. The composition of the convention will be representative of the diversity of French society.

It will be a place to learn about, debate and prepare draft laws on all issues relating to ways to combat climate change.

Its mandate is to define a series of measures to achieve a reduction of at least 40% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared to 1990) in keeping with the principle of social justice.

The Convention can deal with issues relating to energy efficiency, thermal modernization of housing, agriculture, mobility, ecological taxation and any other mechanism it deems relevant.

The President of the Republic has committed himself to submitting these legislative and regulatory proposals “without a filter” either to a referendum, to a vote in parliament or for direct implementation.

In short, with the Citizen’s Convention on Climate, a panel representing the diversity of the citizens of France will, for the very first time, be directly involved in the preparation of the law.

The organization of the Citizen’s Convention on Climate has been entrusted to the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (the Conseil Économique, Social et Environnemental – CESE – is the third constitutional chamber, an institution independent of the Government). An independent Governance Committee composed of experts in the fields of ecology, participatory democracy, economics and social affairs and citizens, who were selected at random has been set up. This committee is co-chaired by Thierry Pech and Laurence Tubiana with Julien Blanchet as the general rapporteur.

The participants of the Citizen’s Convention on Climate will meet six times for a three-day weekend in Paris at the offices of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council.

The dates of the sessions are as follows:

  •     4-6 October 
  •     25-27 October
  •     15-17 November 
  •     6-8 December 
  •     10-12 January 
  •     25-26 January

The Citizen’s Convention on Climate will submit their conclusions after the last session. The Government will then respond publicly to the proposals and publish a provisional timetable for their implementation. The 150 citizens will be able to collectively react to these announcements during a final day of sessions.

The Harris Interactive institute is in charge of selecting the 150 participants at random. This will be done as follows: telephone numbers will be automatically generated – 85% of which are mobile phone numbers and 15% of which are landlines – and approximately 255,000 people will be contacted between the end of August and the end of September.

The aim is to obtain a panel representative of the French population, according to the following criteria:

  • Gender: In accordance with the reality of French society, the Convention will be composed of 52% women and 48% men.
  • Age: 6 age groups have been defined, proportional to the age pyramid starting at 16 years old.
  • The level of education: 6 levels have been identified, in order to reflect the structure of the French population with regards to education. Particular attention has been paid to the need to have a fair presence of people without a degree.
  • Socio-professional categories: The Citizen’s Convention on Climate will reflect the diversity of socio-professional categories (workers, employees, management,…) within the French population. People experiencing extreme poverty will also be present.
  • Residency: Based on the categories used by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), the Convention will respect the distribution of people according to the type of territories in which they reside (major urban centers, outer suburbs, rural municipalities, etc.). People from so-called Municipal Policy Priority Districts (quartiers prioritaires de la politique de la ville – QPV) will also be present.
  • Geographical area: The Convention will also take into account the distribution of the French population over the metropolitan region and the overseas territories.

To guarantee the impartiality of the random selection, the process will be under bailiff control, supervised by the Guarantors and the Governance Committee of the Citizens’ Convention.

No, only those selected at random will have the opportunity to participate in the Citizens’ Convention on Climate. This is the best way to give a voice to all segments of the population.

The participants will hear experts with conflicting opinions and summaries of research (by academic experts, international bodies and civil society organizations), the citizens selected at random will draw up proposals for laws and regulations that will enable France to better fight climate change.

This is not an assembly of specialists. The participants come from all professional backgrounds, all regions, all ages… Each of the 150 participants will bring in their own expertise of daily life. The diversity of the profiles of the members of the Citizens’ Convention on Climate will ensure that all the topics covered will be addressed taking into account the diversity of French people’s lives, needs and wishes for the future.

Most of the exchanges will take place in smaller groups in order to have sufficient time to discuss and to ensure that participants are comfortable and have sufficient opportunities to participate in collective production. Specialists in citizen dialogue will accompany these exchanges, without influencing them: the floor will be left to the citizens themselves. On a regular basis, each of the groups will share its work with all 150 members of the Citizens’ Convention on Climate.

No specific skills are required. Participants will work with different stakeholders, experts in the topics discussed and lawyers who will help them translate their proposals into legal terms.

The speakers and content will be proposed to by the Governance Committee. The citizens of the Convention are of course free to refuse to hear an expert if they wish to do so, or to hear a person whom the Governance Committee had not considered.

Yes, compensation is provided, calculated in the same manner as that of citizens serving on a criminal court jury, i.e. €86.04 per day (€1,462 for the entire process). People who come in during their working hours will also be compensated for loss of professional income (€10.03 per hour).

The Convention will cover the cost of childcare, at €18/hour (including employer’s contributions) based on supporting documents, to enable parents, particularly single parents, to participate in the Convention.

Meals will be organized during the weekends of the Convention meetings. Accommodation, as well as transportation will be booked and paid in advance by the Convention for the selected citizens.

For the organization and moderation of this Citizens’ Convention on Climate, a budget of €4 million has been allocated to the EESC, which is an independent constitutional institution. This includes the logistical organization (transportation, accommodation and meals for the 150 selected citizens), compensation for the participating citizens, the random selection process, moderation of the sessions with the participation of lawyers and experts, etc.

For distances that take longer than 4 hours by train, the Citizens’ Convention on Climate offers citizens a choice between the train and the plane (for example residents of Toulouse, Biarritz, Brive or Nice are concerned. The use of air travel is unavoidable however, for citizens living in Corsica or overseas. The carbon cost of the Convention will be fully offset, including of course that of plane travel.

In the interest of transparency, the plenary sessions and hearings of the Citizens’ Convention on Climate will be broadcast live on its website. At the end of each session weekend, minutes will be published. The citizens of France will also be able to follow the general progress of the Convention’s work via the website.

Citizens who are not randomly selected for the Convention and who wish to make proposals can post them using the suggestion box on the Convention’s website. Organizations (associations etc.) are allowed to do the same.

The Citizens’ Convention on Climate is independent and impartial. It will be free to make its own choices.

A Governance Committee, independent of the Government, has been set up to support the Citizen’s Convention on Climate, preserve its independence and respect its will.

The operational organization of the Citizen’s Convention on Climate has been entrusted to the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Conseil économique social et environnemental – CESE), the third Assembly of the Republic. CESE is a legitimate actor because of its constitutionally independent nature and its recent experience with random selection processes and citizen participation.

In addition, three guarantors have also been appointed to provide an external perspective on the process. They will ensure that the necessary conditions are in place to guarantee the independence of the Citizens’ Convention and that it can work under good conditions. They are Cyril Dion (appointed by the President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council); Anne Frago (appointed by the President of the National Assembly) and Michèle Kadi (appointed by the President of the Senate).

The Citizens’ Convention on Climate will publish the conclusions of its work at the end of January – beginning of February in the form of legislative and regulatory proposals. These will be included in a report to be submitted to the President of the Republic, the Government and the media. From the proposed measures, it will clearly identify those it considers appropriate to be submitted to a referendum and those it considers should be submitted through parliamentary channels.

The rapport will highlight what the Convention’s members agree on, what is the consensus. It will also highlight the elements on which the Convention’s members do not agree, the dissenting opinions.

On 25 April 2019, the President of the Republic committed himself to submitting the proposals of the citizens of the Convention “without a filter” either to a referendum, to a vote in parliament or for direct regulatory implementation.

Thus, after the Convention has submitted its conclusions on 25 and 26 January, the Government will respond publicly to the proposals and publish a provisional timetable for the implementation of these proposals.

Finally, the 150 citizens will be able to collectively formulate a reaction to the Government’s announcements. They will be able to state publicly whether or not the Government has understood and followed their conclusions.

The principle of random selection is not new… It goes back to the origins of democracy itself in ancient Greece!

More recently, the method of randomly drawn Citizens’ Conventions has been used successfully in many places such as Ireland, Texas, Oregon, etc.

If your number has been drawn, you will be contacted by the Harris Interactive/Le Terrain institute. They may try to call you from the following numbers: 01 53 36 60 88 or 01 53 36 60 89. Before you are called, you may also receive an SMS from Harris Interactive/Le Terrain, sent from a 5-digit number starting with 3 8…: You can answer it with confidence.