Climate transition

First Swedish citizens' assembly: Sweden needs to be united on climate

Members of the citizen assembly on stage at SRC

The citizens' assembly concluded with a joint statement and 22 overarching proposals. Photo: Johannes Ernstberger/SRC.

Make climate change a school subject, invest in high-speed trains and make public transport more reliable, equal and cheaper. These are 3 of 22 proposals from Sweden's first national citizens' assembly on climate change

"If we can agree, our elected representatives should also be able to do so," the assembly writes in a joint statement.

Since March, 60 randomly selected people from across Sweden have participated in Sweden's first national citizens' assembly on climate. The aim was to come up with proposals on how Sweden can achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and enrich and nuance the public debate on climate issues.

In its joint statement and 22 overarching proposals (full text in Swedish), the assembly highlights that Sweden's environmental goals should be as much a cross-cutting issue as defense policy. "The climate issue is too important to remain a political bat, it is up to all of us to act now," the assembly writes.

All proposals received more than 50 percent approval. Among those with the highest approval ratings are:

  • Government and opposition should work together on climate, such as for pensions and defense
  • Introduce high-cost protection for public transport tickets and a national ticketing system
  • Include climate change in the school curriculum
  • Raise the status of natural areas in urban planning
  • Develop a label for climate-smart products, goods and services
  • Introduce a national car-sharing service
  • Nationalize and expand train services
  • Maximize micro-mobility with improved cycling infrastructure

Please note that the proposals are preliminary.

The assembly met nine times during the spring to discuss, learn from each other and consider different arguments. They were supported by some of Sweden's leading researchers and experts in climate and environment. Sverker Sörlin and Carolina Klüft were mentors to the assembly members.

"I am really impressed and inspired by everyone on the assembly. Their commitment, process, dialogues and what they have come up with make them role models for all of us and not least our politicians in the country," said Carolina Klüft in a closing conversation with the assembly members.

"It has been great to follow the citizens' assembly, to see people with such different views exchanging ideas, working together and coming up with meaningful proposals for climate policy. It shows how a citizens' assembly can help address other difficult societal problems," said Tim Daw, Centre researcher and project manager of the citizens' assembly.

The proposals were presented at the assembly's closing session to politicians from the Swedish parliamentary parties, all of whom had been invited to the meeting to engage with the citizens' assembly members. They thanked the assembly for the proposals and confirmed the importance of cross-party cooperation. They now intend to take the proposals forward in various ways.

You can read the citizens' assembly's final comments on their website (in Swedish), see

The citizens’ assembly is a part of the research programme Fairtrans, which is a collaboration between Stockholm Resilience Centre, University of Gävle, Uppsala University, Lund University and IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.

Published: 2024-05-20

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