In April 2021, an online Citizens’ Jury was convened to deliberate on climate actions planned by the Finnish government to reach its targets in reducing Finland’s emissions. The jury was commissioned by the Climate Policy Roundtable together with the Ministry of the Environment, and it was implemented by the researchers from the University of Turku. This was the first nation-wide deliberative mini-public on climate issues in Finland.
The recruitment of participants began in March with a survey accompanied by a post card mailed to a random sample of 8,000 adults residing in Finland. Of those invited, 570 responded to the survey and 174 respondents volunteered to take part in the jury.
The aim was to form a jury of 40–50 participants who would represent different segments of the Finnish society in terms of the area of residence, language, gender, and age. Of those selected and invited to the jury, 37 confirmed their participation and 33 persons took part in the jury’s work.
The Citizens’ Jury met online via Zoom on 22 and 24–24 April. The task of the jury was to assess the fairness and impact of the measures to be included in the new Medium-Term Climate Change Policy Plan and draw up a common statement on the matter. A particular focus was on measures related to food, housing and traffic.
The members learned more about the topic through background material and expert hearings. The jury deliberated in small groups and joint discussions. The discussions focused on a list of 14 potential measures to be taken under the Climate Change Policy Plan of the Ministry of the Environment.
The jury’s statement, published on 27 April, includes the jury’s assessments on the fairness and impact of the proposed measures and some proposals for supplementary or alternative measures. The general points of the statement highlight that, even though citizens are prepared to take action to mitigate climate change, they are worried about the economic impacts that climate measures may have. The jury considers it important to take individual and regional differences into account in the measures included in the plan.
The results will be used for the preparation of the Climate Change Policy Plan. The processing of the results began on 3 May when the jury’s statement was discussed at the Climate Policy Roundtable, and will continue in a working group appointed to support the preparation of the plan. The draft plan should be ready in autumn 2021 and it will be submitted as a report to Parliament later in the autumn.
The final report on the Citizens’ Jury written by the researchers was published in August 2021.
The Citizens’ Jury was commissioned and funded by the Climate Policy Roundtable together with the Ministry of the Environment, and it was conducted by the researchers from the University of Turku. The research is funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC), and the Academy of Finland. Read more on the research projects PALO and FACTOR.
Maija Setälä, Professor, University of Turku, tel. + 358 29 450 2737, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heta-Elena Heiskanen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 380, email@example.com
Ministry of the Environment | News | 26 August 2021: Citizens’ Jury tested in Finland to support climate policy preparation
University of Turku | News | 17 June 2021: Citizens’ Jury Offered Decision-Makers Considered Opinions for New Climate Policy Plan
Ministry of the Environment | Press release | 27 April 2021: Citizens’ Jury publishes a statement on the fairness of climate actions
Ministry of the Environment | Press release | 15 March 2021: Citizens’ Jury to deliberate the fairness and impact of Finland’s emission reduction measures