Can Climate Engagement Accelerate the Transition to Net Zero?

Innovations and Challenges for Advancing the Field of Climate Engagement

Innovations in climate engagement are currently taking place around the world, building on decades of learning and experience to generate public input that is representative, informed and actionable. 

These public participation processes engage residents, citizens, under-represented communities and stakeholders in shaping actions and decisions to address climate change. 

The year 2021 marks a moment of heightened interest in climate engagement methods such as climate assemblies and green participatory budgeting. At the same time, citizens in many countries report low trust in societal leaders and most climate engagement processes fall short of the scale and ambition required to catalyze the types of transformative shifts necessary to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century.

Multiple organizations are currently serving as knowledge centres or hosting learning communities to build capacity within the climate engagement field. The report provides examples of innovations currently underway in the field of climate engagement, surfaces key challenges, identifies existing knowledge centres and learning communities that are supporting climate engagement practitioners and outlines next steps for the creation of the International Climate Engagement Network.

These findings are informed by over two-dozen interviews with leading thinkers and innovators who work at the intersection between public participation and climate change, drawing upon perspectives and examples from around the world.

We recognize that the ideas in this report reflect only a sample of climate engagement innovations taking place globally, and look forward to incorporating additional peoples, institutions and geographies over time.

Production Team

The lead author on this report was Robin Prest, with content development and research support by Julie Bezard. Writing and analysis for specific case studies was provided by Elodie Jacquet and Nav Purewall. Internal reviewers included Elodie Jacquet, Michael Small, Shauna Sylvester and Scott Young. 

Dialogue Dispatch


Dialogue Dispatch is our community of practice newsletter where we share updates on our team's knowledge exchange activities alongside inspiring case studies, suggested readings and practical tools for people and organizations working to transform the field of democratic participation.

First Name: 
Last Name: 

Read the most recent Dialogue Dispatch issue: