Photo: Active Hearing event with representatives of an elderly collective in the headquarters building of Ciutat Vella, In Barcelona.

The Citizen Engager is a toolbox and step-by-step guide designed to foster citizen engagement in the field of climate policy. It is being developed within the LOCALISED project by the Participation Team of the Austrian Society of Environment and Technology (ÖGUT). Its primary goal is to enable the co-creation of climate policies between citizens and local decision-makers, ensuring that these policies are socially just and inclusive. 

The primary audience for The Citizen Engager comprises local and regional decision-makers across Europe, including elected representatives, politicians, and civil servants. These individuals play a crucial role in implementing climate policies at the grassroots level, and The Citizen Engager aims to equip them with the tools and knowledge needed to engage effectively with their communities, and in particular with groups that are more negatively impacted by climate change and climate policy.

The guide is enriched with insights drawn from applied case studies conducted in three partner cities and regions, offering practical examples of successful citizen engagement. One notable case study comes from the City of Barcelona, a key partner in the LOCALISED project. Barcelona is actively conducting a series of “active hearing” events, engaging vulnerable groups to discuss climate change adaptation and mitigation. These events involve citizens from various districts who share their fears and needs concerning climate change. The feedback gathered during these consultations will be featured in The Citizen Engager, providing a practical example of effective citizen participation.

The documentation of this case study is coordinated by ÖGUT with the support from the Institut de Recerca en Energia de Catalunya (IREC), a technical partner of LOCALISED  based in Barcelona. Enric Mont Lecocq and Soledad Ibañez from IREC have participated as observers in several active hearing groups, collecting feedback, impressions, and photographs. Their observations are instrumental in showcasing how citizen engagement methods can be improved and when they are successful.

The Citizen Engager is developed as a tool for decision makers for creating climate policies that reflect the voices and needs of local communities. By facilitating meaningful dialogue between citizens and policymakers, it paves the way for a more resilient and socially just approach to climate action.