An Introduction to the Climate Change Citizens’ Forum

What is all the hooha about?

People are quite rightly saying that there has been no information shared about the Climate Change Citizens’ Forum, and that it seems like a bunch of unknown people making decisions that no one else can find out about. Sarah Mercer explains why this isn’t true.

So what is it then?

The Climate Change Citizens’ Forum (lets just call it the Forum) is a bit like a Thinktank crossed with a decision making body. The gov wants to know more about what the Great Manx Public think about climate change, and more importantly, what the Isle of Man should do about it.

It consists of 36 individuals – 12 are randomly selected,12 are individual applicants and 12 are representatives from key stakeholders (see below). It is facilitated by the Climate Transformation Team (those people writing the Climate Action Plan which dictates how the Isle of Man is going to respond to climate change) and chaired by Ralph Peake MHK and Jane Poole-Wilson MLC.

Key stakeholder groups

  • Business
  • Land Users/Agriculture
  • Construction/Trade
  • Young Business Leaders
  • Climate Change Action Group
  • Architects
  • Transport
  • Wildlife/biodiversity
  • Energy Users
  • Vulnerable
  • Students

What does it actually do?

The Forum has had several meetings so far, and has several planned for the rest of the year on various topics (yet to be confirmed). The previous meetings have focused on ‘The Built Space’ (essentially housing and retrofitting) and ‘Energy’. There will be articles posted specifically about those meetings soon. 

The views expressed by the members of the forum will directly feed into the implementation of Phase 1 of the Climate Action Plan (the short term phase), as assured by Richard Lowell, CEO of DEFA. The Forum will also help the Transformation Team identify any areas that have been missed, inadequately covered or that may have consequences that were not anticipated in both Phase one and two of the action plan.

Additionally, Ralph Peake and Jane Poole-Wilson, who sit on the Climate Transformation Board (this is all getting confusing, there is a diagram below) have promised to feed in the views of the Forum to the board, which is responsible for writing the Climate Change Bill (the thing that makes action on climate change into legislation).

Wait wait wait, slow down. Board, team, plan, bill? What is all that?

Okay, here is a quick fire round of what’s what.

Climate Change Citizen’s Forum – This whole article is about what this one is…

Climate Transformation Team – This is a team of civil servants, scientists and a few political members that are writing the Climate Action Plan.

Climate Transformation Board – this is the board writing the Climate Change Bill and consists of Howard Quayle Chief Minister, Ray Harmer Minister for Policy and Reform, Geoffrey Boot Minister for DEFA, Alf Cannon Minister for Treasury, Tim Baker Minister for DoI, Laurence Skelly Minister for Enterprise, Ralph Peake MHK and Jane Poole-Wilson MLC.

Climate Action Plan Phase 1 – Phase one covers the immediate actions agreed by CoMin coming under 10 policy commitments including increasing renewables, carbon capture and moving towards net zero.

Read the whole thing here: 

Climate Action Plan Phase 2 – Phase two covers the longer term actions and goes into more depth on issues that there wasn’t time to fully research for Phase one. This includes a review and feasibility study on Professor Curran’s report, clarifying costs and a full understanding of the impact on the economy, environment and society.

Climate Change Bill – This is a bill that is being taken through Tynwald and will put into legislation (read, we have to do it) the intention to get to net zero carbon by 2050.

Read the whole thing here

Can we get involved?

Yes! 

Members of the Forum have been actively encouraged to seek contributions, ideas and concerns from the Great Manx Public. The more contributions from the likes of us, the better informed the actions the Government will take.

So, do you have a query, concern or brilliant idea you want listened to? If so, get in touch.

If you want to get in touch with a member of the forum, email me at sarahclimateforum@gmail.com

If you want to get in touch with the Climate Transformation Team, email them at climatechange@gov.im

Otherwise, use the hashtag  #ClimateForumIOM.

The Forum is a brilliant chance for direct involvement in policy changes on the biggest issue facing us for the next few decades (if not longer). A healthy democracy is about increasing transparency and accessibility – let’s use this opportunity to be listened to.

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