The Leeds Climate Change Citizens’ Jury was put together by Leeds Climate Commission working with Shared Future CIC. It was tasked with examining the Leeds' response to the emergency of climate change and with producing recommendations that will be used to guide the future work of the Commission and a range of organisations across the city.
The findings, in the form of recommendations written by the jurors, were presented at a launch event on Monday 25 November 2019 at The Tetley, Leeds. The jurors' recommendations will be presented formally to Leeds City Council’s Climate Emergency Advisory Committee in January 2019, which can make formal recommendations to Leeds City Council's executive board.
The citizens' jury commenced on 12 September 2019 and ran for a total of 30 hours over nine sessions, ending on 3 November.
An oversight panel was set up to ensure the process is unbiased and fair. It includes representatives from Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth, Leeds Chamber of Commerce, Leeds City Council, The Madina Town Movement, Our Future Leeds, Project Rome, Racial Justice Network, University of Leeds, Yorkshire Water and Youth Strike for Climate.
The panel made decisions about the recruitment process and the jury profile; it also selected expert commentators- 22 in total - who gave presentations to the jury and answered questions from them.
Professional facilitators Peter Bryant and Jenny Willis from Shared Future, which has run previous Citizens’ Juries across the UK, supported the jurors throughout the process.
Jurors are being asked to consider the question: “What should Leeds do about the emergency of climate change?” They produced a list of 12 recommendations, covering transport, housing, communications, finance, green spaces, aviation, a proposal for a Leeds Green New Deal, plastics, recycling and political co-operation (see page below).
Leeds City Council declared a climate emergency on 27 March 2019, along with a commitment to work to make Leeds carbon neutral by 2030. The Citizens’ Jury was part of the response to this and was financed by Leeds Climate Commission, an independent advisory group with members from key organisations and businesses in Leeds that are working together to help Leeds take action on climate change.
Find out more about the recruitment process, the sessions and check out our Frequently Asked Questions in the pages below.
The final report on the process, describing how it was run and containing the jurors' recommendations, their guiding statement and requirements for progress reports, is available to download below, along with a summary of their recommendations. You can also read a report on the launch event for the recommendations.
The livestream of the launch event and presentations and interviews with commentators can be found on the Big Leeds Climate Conversation YouTube channel. You can also find videos of the Jurors reading their recommendations, and a film of interviews with some member of the Leeds Climate Change Citizens' Jury.
The contribution of Leeds Climate Change Citizens' Jury to the Big Leeds Climate Conversation is referenced in Leeds City Council's Climate Emergency Update report of 7 January 2020, which describes work the Council has done to date and recommendations for further actions by the Council, which will result in more than halving Leeds' carbon emissions by 2025.
The report noted: "The citizen’s jury did demonstrate that given exposure to the evidence in an intensive environment, the majority of people became engaged and recognised the role they can play. This will be hard to replicate for the population as a whole but an essential part of the city’s strategy must be a determined and on-going programme of awareness raising in order to influence personal behaviour change."
On 10 March 2020, Leeds City Council's Climate Emergency Advisory Committee responded to the Leeds Climate Change Citizens' Jury.The response addresses each of the Jury's recommendations specifically.
It said: "The Council would like to thank the jury members for their hard work and commitment in developing these recommendations. The recommendations are an important and constructive contribution, which have helped to shape the city’s response to the climate emergency. The report should be read alongside the full Climate Emergency Strategy, published in January, which was informed by the jury’s work ...
"This report, however, takes each recommendation in turn and sets out the Council’s broad policy response. CEAC has then committed to update its response on a quarterly basis."