“We will only beat the climate crisis if everyone joins the fight.”
With these words, European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans invited friends, family, neighbours and colleagues from all over Europe to get together and hold Peer Parliaments – fact-based, solution-focused conversations – to discuss how individuals, local and national governments, and the European Union can best fight climate change, with regards to:
- Sustainable mobility
- Energy transition
- Sustainable food consumption
Want to run your own Peer Parliament?
Europe’s future climate policies will only succeed if we design them for people and with people, which is why we are encouraging everyone to host or join a Peer Parliament.
As a Peer Parliament host, you can bring together a group of individuals, provide them with basic information on the topics, then open the floor for discussion.
Use our toolkit to learn how to organise your own Peer Parliament, and find more information and support materials on our Resources page.
Don’t forget to share the results of your discussion on social media using the hashtags #EUClimatePact and #PeerParliaments.
Peer Parliaments across Europe
From November 2021 to March 2022, European citizens conducted a total of 461 Peer Parliaments across 26 EU Member States. Small groups of 5-10 individuals brainstormed ideas and solutions for some of Europe’s biggest climate and environmental questions, all from the comfort of their own homes, as well as from workplaces and classrooms from across the continent.
Afterwards, Peer Parliament hosts shared their findings with the European Commission, ensuring that EU policymakers heard the voices of citizens, and all ideas were fed into the Conference on the Future of Europe – an opportunity for European citizens to debate on Europe’s challenges and priorities, which concluded on 9 May 2022.
Through the conference’s multilingual digital platform, the findings of the Peer Parliament initiative can now be accessed by anyone, in any one of the 24 official EU languages. These results were also presented to the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, by Climate Pact Ambassadors and Peer Parliament hosts, at the final high-level event Shaping the Climate Transition: Citizens Take the Floor.
What were the results?
The Peer Parliaments hosted between November 2021 and March 2022 provided crucial insights into how Europeans want to fight climate change.
Overall, most participants supported measures to provide economic incentives to steer the behaviour of consumers and producers towards being more sustainable. A substantial number of individuals considered environmental pricing and subsidies to be one of the most effective ways to encourage action across these areas.
Opinions about who is responsible for tackling climate change varied depending on the topic and the question being discussed. In some areas, participants thought the main responsibility to act lies with governments, while in others, particularly green energy use at home and sustainable consumption, participants placed the main responsibility for driving behavioural change and consumption choices with individual citizens, as well as businesses and the market.
Where can I find more information?
Are you interested in what was discussed at the Peer Parliament sessions? Or perhaps you want to find out how many Peer Parliaments were organised near you? You can read our article or take a look at our report for a more in-depth overview. You can also read the report Shaping the EU’s Climate Transition: Citizens take the floor to discover what people across Europe think about key environmental issues.