Rotherham hosts as region’s Citizens’ Assembly for climate change meets for first time

THE region’s first Citizens’ Assembly kicked off with its 100 delegates meeting at New York Stadium to discuss climate change.
South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard addresses the Citizens' AssemblySouth Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard addresses the Citizens' Assembly
South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard addresses the Citizens' Assembly

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard says the group will help devise policies to help reach a net zero economy by 2040.

Some 30,000 invitations were sent at random across the region and the first of five in-person sessions took place at NYS on Saturday (28).

Mr Coppard said: “Citizens’ assemblies are a new way of doing politics that put people at the heart of the way we make decisions.

“We already know that the way in which the climate is changing is going to have an impact on all of us. We are going to have to change how we live, work and travel.

“But we simply can’t tackle those big questions without listening to and learning from everyone who lives in Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield.

“Because if we get this right it’s not just a huge challenge, it’s also a huge opportunity; an

opportunity to create good, new jobs for everyone, working in the industries of the future, and to build a cleaner, greener, happier and healthier South Yorkshire.”

The weekend’s session saw members discuss what could be done in the region to mitigate against climate change.

Mr Coppard’s office says the assembly project will involve learning, deliberation and decision-making phases.

A spokesperson said: “Mr Coppard plans to use the Citizens’ Assembly’s discussions and recommendations to form the basis of South Yorkshire’s climate policy, putting local residents’ values at the heart of local politics.

“This innovative approach aims to give South Yorkshire the opportunity to forge its own

path forward in the race to beat climate change, rather than relying on the goodwill of others.

“The Climate Assembly members and those providing evidence and expertise at each session, will be compensated for the time spent.”

Future sessions will take place on:

Saturday, November 11: Doncaster

Saturday, November 25: Barnsley

Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10: Sheffield