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Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly

Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly logo

As part of our efforts to address the Climate Emergency, Adur & Worthing Councils have commissioned a Climate Assembly to address the following questions:

“How can we in Adur and Worthing collectively tackle climate change and support our places to thrive?

What does this mean for the way we live and for our local environment?”

The Climate Assembly will follow the model for a citizens' assembly, with 40 residents of Adur and Worthing randomly selected to take part. Over four months, from September to December 2020, the 40 residents will meet online to listen to evidence, deliberate and then make recommendations that will go to Adur & Worthing Councils in Spring 2021.

About the Climate Assembly

Our Climate Assembly is a type of democratic decision making process. The Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly will bring together a randomly selected group of 40 people from the area, who broadly represent the entire community. The people who attend learn about issues, discuss them with one another, and then make recommendations about what should happen and how things could change.

The selection process

Letters were sent out to 8,000 households in Adur and Worthing. The addresses were randomly selected from Royal Mail's address database.

The following people were not eligible to apply:

  • Elected representatives from any level of government
  • paid employees of any political party
  • or people employed by Adur & Worthing Councils

The role of the Climate Assembly members

Those selected will hear from expert speakers and discuss the issues involved in small groups to deliberate and respond to the questions:

“How can we in Adur and Worthing collectively tackle climate change and support our places to thrive?”

“What does this mean for the way we live and our local environment?”

At the end of the process, Assembly members will produce a report on their recommendations. This will be presented to the Councils in early 2021.


Follow the hashtag #AWClimateAssembly on social media to keep up to date with news about the Climate Assembly.

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Climate Assembly survey

As part of the Climate Assembly, Adur & Worthing Councils invited all local residents to contribute to a questionnaire to find out what changes in behaviour people have already made that may help towards achieving greater sustainability in Adur and Worthing, and capture views and opinions on climate change.

The survey closed on Wednesday, 14th October 2020.

Thank you to all those that took part in the survey.

We will be sharing the outputs soon.

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Watch the Climate Assembly - videos

You can watch the videos from the Climate Assembly on the YouTube links below. Assembly videos will be added after each weekend.

Day One - Saturday, 19th September 2020:

Jonathan Porritt - what is climate change?

Jonathan (Environmentalist and Broadcaster) talked about the need to keep any rise in global temperatures to below 1.5℃ (PDF on the Royal Society website) and the challenge we face due to over consumption of resources and a growing population. He also defined what was meant by Net Zero (on BBC website).

Kristen Guida - the predicted impacts of climate change

Kristen (London Climate Change Partnership) spoke about the increased chance (50%) of hotter, drier summers and that the SouthEast region is one of the most water scarce regions in the world, but will also be prone to rising sea levels.

Baroness Brown - national approaches to climate change

Baroness Brown (Chair of the Carbon Trust) highlighted the recommendations put forward by the UK Committee on Climate Change (she is the Vice Chair) on the changes we all need to make to achieve Net Zero by 2050.

John Drummond - how can we affect climate change

John (Chairman at Corporate Culture) talked about the need to communicate clearly and optimistically if we are truly going to engage with everyone and get them to make the required changes to their lifestyles.

Other videos from Day One:

Day Two - Saturday, 10th October 2020:

For more videos from the Climate Assembly:

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Advisory Group

An Advisory Group has been established to oversee the design and implementation of the Climate Assembly, and to ensure that participants are presented with factually accurate, comprehensive and balanced information. 

View the terms of reference for the group here:

Members of the Advisory Group are as follows: 

  • Debs Butler, Director - We Are FoodPioneers
  • Fran Southgate, Living Landscapes Advisor - Sussex Wildlife Trust
  • Helen Walker, Lead for MSc Town Planning, University of Brighton
  • Jim Marshall, Senior Policy Adviser, Water UK
  • John Coote, Independent
  • Michelle Furtado, Director, FuturEcoLogic, member of Worthing Climate Action Network and Chair of Green Tides
  • Nessy Haines - Extinction Rebellion, Citizens' Assembly Working Group
  • Sophie Holway, Student at St Oscar Romero High School
  • Steve Creed, Sustainability Coach
  • Victoria Williams, Director, Food Matters

Advisory Group meeting minutes 

The Advisory Group will meet a minimum of seven times in advance, during and after the Climate Assembly. The dates and minutes are as follows: 

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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Why is this Climate Assembly taking place online?

This is one of the first ever Assemblies that will be held online. We had planned to hold a face-to-face Assembly but government guidelines regarding social distancing mean that this may not be possible for the foreseeable future. We do not want to delay important discussions about climate change until we are able to meet up in person, so we have decided to hold the Climate Assembly online.

How will you ensure that the event is accessible and inclusive for everyone?

We want everyone to be able to take part in our Assembly and will ensure that our residents are provided with the support they need to take part. Those selected to take part in the Assembly will be given £300 as a 'thank you' for contributing their time to this important work.

Prior to the Assembly taking place, each Assembly member will have a one-to-one session with a member of staff from Democratic Society, who we are working with to deliver the Climate Assembly. It will cover how the Assembly will be run online and address any needs members have for taking part, including internet connection (data/WiFi) and/or equipment or training on how to use a computer. Any other adjustments required (eg interpretation, childcare etc.) can also be accommodated along with Assembly member needs.

Who commissioned the Assembly, and who is running it?

We are working with Democratic Society to deliver our Climate Assembly, they were selected following a public tender process in early 2020. They subcontracted the Sortition Foundation to carry out recruitment for the Assembly.

How do you make sure evidence to the Assembly is independent of the Councils?

The Climate Assembly will be guided by an independent Advisory Group, which is being set up to oversee the design and implementation of the Climate Assembly. The role of the Advisory Group is to provide advice and oversight to ensure the Assembly's plans, evidence and materials are accurate, balanced and unbiased. We will share details about who is represented on our independent Advisory Group shortly.

If I'm not invited to take part, how can I be part of the Assembly?

Prior to the Assembly taking place, Adur & Worthing Councils will invite residents to submit their views on the questions the assembly is exploring. We also expect that some of the proceedings of the Assembly, in particular evidence giving, will be made public for everyone to watch and read - so that everyone can keep up the date with developments.

Anything about the Climate Assembly will be shared via this page in the future.

What will happen when the Assembly concludes its work?

The Assembly's recommendations will be published and presented to a Full Council meeting in Spring 2021. A formal response will be given from the Councils to the recommendations and will inform our policy approach to climate change, local environments and work in and by communities.

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Where can I get more information?

If you have questions about the Assembly, you can email our Climate Assembly team:

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