Second of Deliberative Workshop Series Held in Berlin

On 14 January 2023, Berliners of all kinds came together to discuss their thoughts on climate change and local policies toward its mitigation. Organised by Sense About Science and The Policy Institute at King’s College London, this event marked the second session of PERITIA’s Citizen Fora, a series of deliberative workshops designed to involve the public in policy decision-making and to further explore the conditions of trust in climate experts. Read more about the workshop series here.

On a wintry Saturday in Mitte, car owners and cyclists alike, as well as pensioneers and young people, Germans and immigrants, all sat side by side in small groups to exchange views on how local transport policies can help curb the climate crisis. Together, they listened to three different presentations by climate experts, and shared their reactions in group discussions as well as through voting exercises.

Berliners cast their votes.

Chaired by PERITIA’s own Daniel Kaiser (ALLEA), the workshop gave Berliners the opportunity to deliberate on what they perceived to be the most pressing issues and solutions pertaining to climate change, as well as to exchange directly with the three experts: Senior Scientist Dr Diego Rybski (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) provided participants with an overview of how local transport can impact climate change, both positively and negatively. Journalist Jörg Staude (klimareporter) then presented two case studies of very distinct Berlin neighbourhoods enacting hyperlocal transport policies to fight climate change. Finally, Senior Researcher Sandra Wappelhorst (International Council on Clean Transportation) laid out three possible policy solutions for participants to debate and vote on: regulation of CO2 emissions at the EU level, financial and tax incentives at the national level, and road pricing at the local level. After participants voted, the workshop concluded with a plenary session summarising the final round of deliberations and brainstorming about further solutions among the various groups.

The series will continue in Dublin, Yerevan, and Warsaw.

Photo credit: Canva