Global Citizens’ Assemblies: A Bold Idea That Needs Our Support!

Article by Robert G. Eccles: “COP 26 officially kicks off on October 31. The general tone leading up to this is one of hope, mixed with a large dose of understandable skepticism. In a few weeks, we’ll know the outcome in terms of commitments made and not made. For the former, the question will be one of whether they will be met. For the latter, pressure will continue to get them made.

Governments, corporations, and investors all have an essential role to play to achieve a net-zero and more just economy. NGOs also have a role to play in pushing all of them. All of these groups will be represented in Glasgow.

I’m a “glass half full” kind of guy so I’m optimistic about this important event. But I can also do simple math to conclude that the 25,000+ people present is still a very small number compared to the world population. I am also well aware that most of these people will be and, pardon a term from my 60’s youth, from “The Establishment.” Let’s be honest. Even the NGOs are, or certainly the largest and most important ones. Don’t get me wrong. We absolutely need The Establishment (of which I am now an official member) if we are going to achieve our collective goals in the time we have left to make the changes we need.

But we also need new energy and fresh voices that are more representative of the world’s population. For instance, imagine a global governance body that automatically included 50% women, and with proportionate numbers of people from the Global North and South. We can get this from the Global Assembly (GA). The GA is a global citizens’ assembly, it officially launched with this online event on October 5, 2021. With so many other things going on, I suspect it may not get the attention at COP 26 that it deserves. What I’d like to do here is plant the seed, encourage all of you to get involved, and say “Watch this space for more to come.”…(More)”.