XR leave Climate Assembly

November 2020

Extinction Rebellion, one of whose demands for some time has been the calling of Citizens' Assemblies to accelerate a serious response to climate change, has walked out of the Scottish Climate Assembly which has just held its first meeting (7-8 November 2020).  Having been invited to join the Assembly's Stewarding Group and helped to frame the question to be put to the Assembly,  the XR representatives Kate Dyer and Justin Kenrick resigned from their positions on 30 October, saying "the chances of letting citizens really discuss the critical issues have become vanishingly small".

They assert that materials and advice made available to Assembly members to assist them in their deliberations have been selected by civil servants and that the views of experts favourable to XR's position have been excluded.  Writing in 'The National' on 2 November, they say

"We should all be angry about this. We could have made a massive step forward towards strengthening our climate response and our democracy. Instead the chances of doing so are diminishing out of sight. Our only hope is that Assembly members themselves decide to take its power into their own hands, demand to see the evidence they need to see, and do the job that so badly needs doing."

Writing on 'Bella Caledonia' on 4 November Justin Kenrick raises the specific case of Professor Julia Steinberger, proposed by the XR representatives as a suitable person to give evidence to the Assembly on the economy.

"She is an IPCC lead author, an eminent academic, public intellectual and an excellent communicator. She was rejected by the secretariat explicitly because she has voiced her support for XR."

Kenrick sums up the position of the XR representatives in withdrawing from the Assembly by saying

"Overall, when we look at the design of the Assembly as currently proposed, we feel our continued presence on the inside of this process makes it look as if XR is comfortable that what is being developed is an adequate response to the challenges Scotland faces.  We fear it is not, and hence we feel we have to withdraw at this point.  Our last hope is that in leaving the stewarding group we are showing how serious our concerns are, and that they therefore may be acted upon."

National report 2 November2020

BBC report  5 November 2020

Kate Dyer and Justin Kenrick  The National  2 November 2020

Justin Kenrick  Bella Caledonia  4 November 2020



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