Climate change

Citizens’ climate council readies for first meeting

The climate council of 100 citizens is set to help deliver solutions to the climate crisis Library photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

The climate council of 100 citizens is set to help deliver solutions to the climate crisis Library photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

More than 1,000 people signed up to become part of a climate council that will advise the government on policies to tackle the climate crisis.

First presented by prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) during his state of the nation speech last October, the citizens’ climate council is preparing for its first meeting on Saturday.

The premier, together with environment minister Carole Dieschbourg and energy minister Claude Turmes (both Déi Gréng) had officially launched the initiative on 5 January with a 19 January deadline for citizens and cross-border workers to sign up.

“In total 1,126 people registered, which is a really great and impressive result,” said Tommy Klein of market researcher TNS-Ilres in an email to Delano. The firm was charged with putting together the council.

“Another piece of good news is that many different profiles signed up, so that we could put together a representative group,” Klein said. This includes criteria such as age, sex, nationality, education level and profession. But the council will also include “different horizons of opinion”.

TNS Ilres had launched the recruitment process via an internet platform but also cold-called a random sample of the population to make the process more inclusive.

The citizens’ climate council will include 100 members aged 16 or over--60 permanent members and 40 substitutes--who will meet for information sessions, plenaries and workshops. Around 15 to 18 meetings are planned, in physical and digital format. Members will be remunerated for their attendance at €125 per session. The kick-off meeting is planned for 29 January.

Experts and scientists will support the council, which is set to deliver policy proposals on how to tackle the climate crisis. Luxembourg has pledged to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 and become carbon neutral by mid-century. It has enshrined these targets into law and, as part of the EU rules, adopted a national climate and energy plan (NCEP), setting out strategies on how to get there.

The results of the council’s work will be debated in parliament and form part of a review of the plan due in 2023. The climate council is due to deliver first results before the summer.

Luxembourg is expected to spend €765m on climate and environmental policy this year, with this amount rising to €975m by 2024, roughly doubling from 2019, when the government budgeted €445m on climate spending.