International consultation Luxembourg in Transition – the Biergerkommitee Lëtzebuerg 2050 44 proposals for a successful transition of the territory towards carbon neutrality
After a year of immersion in the subject, the citizens presented on Tuesday, January 18 the fruit of their work to Claude Turmes. In the presence of Carole Dieschbourg, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Henri Kox, Minister for Housing, and Franz Fayot, Minister for the Economy, the citizens’ committee thus presented politicians with a document concise summarizing all the conclusions of their reflections and concrete proposals.
An experience that has become a model
Reflecting Luxembourg society, the composition of the Biergerkommitee Lëtzebuerg 2050 (BK2050) initially constituted a first challenge. With 30 participants, how do you represent the diversity of the population while taking into account those who contribute to its economic dynamism, the cross-border workers? Different criteria have been developed by TNS Ilres to select citizens after launching a call and then completing with its own database. 25 residents, 5 cross-border workers, 16 women, 14 men, young and old met on January 18, 2021 for a kick-off meeting.
Second challenge: in order to be able to discuss on a good level the various issues impacting the carbon footprint of the territory, citizens must pay themselves with the various aspects of the issue. Designed and coordinated by the Stoldt Associates team, the process has thus chained 12 (public) digital conferences on themes such as climate, biodiversity, urban planning, cross-border cooperation or economic model (accessible at www.luxembourgintransition.lu/evenements). Each session was then followed by an internal debate behind closed doors.
In the second half of the year, the committee met seven times to analyze the information and develop its own recommendations, resulting in a document summarizing all of its work. “I wanted the committee to become, throughout the process, a true laboratory of participatory and co-creative democracy”, declared Claude Turmes. Combining learning, discussion and negotiation to achieve common positions from extremely different points of view, this process now constitutes a model of citizen participation in Luxembourg.
Nine transition principles and 44 recommendations
“Any policy needs a framework and values to guide its action”. The BK2050 made a point of introducing its declaration by what must, according to its members, constitute the framework of the government’s action to succeed in the transition to carbon neutrality: democratic legitimacy, urgency, equity are some examples. The committee also analyzed without taboos the strengths, but also the obstacles of the country on the path of its transition which must be taken into consideration so that, according to them, public action can be truly effective. After intense internal discussions, the members agreed on 44 recommendations in the following areas: governance, spatial planning and urban development, mobility, soil protection, architecture, water protection, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity, economy and information to citizens.
This work could serve as inspiration within the framework of the work of the new Master Program for Regional Development (PDAT) and will henceforth constitute a methodological reference for the initiative carried out by the Prime Minister with the establishment of the Klima Biergerrot (KBR).
Claude Turmes wanted to thank all the committee members for their dedication and commitment throughout the consultation process. In view of the conclusions set out in their document, he underlined that “the objective of the working committee in an autonomous manner in complete impartiality was achieved: each member, free from any political constraint and in complete independence, was able to discuss the role of spatial planning not only to face, but above all to provide answers and concrete solutions to climate change and its undeniable impact on the territory and its natural resources”.
The BK2050 was also accompanied by a scientific committee which monitored and analyzed the dynamics managed by the citizen process and the minister thanked them for their committed and competent supervision.
Communicated by the Department of Spatial Planning / Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning