General Issues
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Mining Industries
Specific Topics
Climate Change
Scope of Influence
The Citizens' Assembly's recommendations
Borgerting på Klimaområdet (Danish Citizens' Assembly on Climate Issues)
Start Date


Danish Citizens' Parliament on climate

April 25, 2022 j.carrick
April 25, 2022 tabassumpayal02
March 23, 2022 j.carrick
January 11, 2022 j.carrick
January 10, 2022 j.carrick
General Issues
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Mining Industries
Specific Topics
Climate Change
Scope of Influence
The Citizens' Assembly's recommendations
Borgerting på Klimaområdet (Danish Citizens' Assembly on Climate Issues)
Start Date

The Assembly, comprising 99 citizens, was tasked with debating various citizen-related dilemmas associated with the climate challenges, to contribute to climate policymaking. After five months, 119 recommendations for the green transition were produced.

Problems and Purpose

To inform the process of transition in Denmark and specifically the annual Climate Action Plan. The Assembly will contribute and provide recommendations to the political process of climate transition, with particular focus on topics relevant to the citizens (as chosen by participants).

Background History and Context

In December 2019, the Danish Climate Act was passed, which committed the country to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 70% of 1990 levels by 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Climate Act includes the following guiding principles: 

1. Climate challenges are a global issue. Therefore, Denmark must be a pioneer in international climate action, which can inspire and influence the rest of the world. In addition, Denmark has both a historical and moral responsibility to take the lead.

2. The achievement of Denmark's climate goals must be as cost-effective as possible, accounting for the long-term green transition, sustainable business development and Danish competitiveness, sound public finances employment, and that Danish business should be developed and not phased out.

3. Denmark must show that a green transition can be made and at the same time a strong welfare society is maintained, where cohesion and social balance are ensured. 

4. The measures to be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must lead to real domestic reductions, but at the same time it must be ensured that Danish measures not only move the entire driftnet emissions off Denmark's borders. [1]

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

The Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities commissioned the Assembly.

The Danish Board of Technology (DBT) was commissioned to manage, deliver and facilitate the Assembly.

Statistics Denmark responsible for helping shape the recruitment process.

Participant Recruitment and Selection

Statistics Denmark selected 99 assembly members and 99 substitutes at the start of the first phase. The members and substitutes were selected via random, stratified sampling. First, 5,000 randomly selected citizens were invited to express an interest in participating. The members and substitutes were selected from those that expressed an interest, based on criteria such as age, gender, geography, education and income, so that they were representative of the Danish population [2].

Members of the first phase were offered places on the second phase; 32 members chose to continue making contributions during the second session. The membership was supplemented with substitutes to reach 99 members. Statistics Denmark, Denmark’s own governmental organisation, initiated the second recruitment process.  The membership was supplemented with substitutes to reach 99 members. 

Methods and Tools Used

The Assembly was based on the citizens’ assembly method. Members received information on climate change and heard from a series of experts during the process. After hearing from 18 experts in the first weekend, the members voted on which subjects and recommendations they wanted to continue to work on. In the first phase the Assembly discussed public education, inclusion and behaviour, finance and taxes, agriculture, land and resources, transportation, and engineering in the landscape. 119 recommendations were produced on these topics [2].

Meetings were mostly held online due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Deliberations were mostly undertaken in self-facilitating groups. The learning in the first weekend and voting in the last weekend was managed by DBT.

Recordings of the presentations are uploaded to the website and are publicly available [3]. 

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

The Assembly took place in two phases. Phase 1 of the Assembly ran from 24 October 2020 to 21 March 2021, comprising full weekends at start and end, with three evening meetings on each theme between. Phase 2 ran from 30 October to 21 December 2021, comprising two face-to-face weekend meetings at the start of the assembly followed by five online evening meetings.

Phase 1: 24 October 2020 to 21 March 2021

First Weekend Gathering: 24 and 25 October 2020

The Citizens’ Assembly listened to presentations ranging from 5-15 minutes from a total of 18 experts. Subsequently, the citizens brainstormed subjects, points, and recommendations that they wished to continue working on.

Evening Gatherings: 16 November 2020 to 25 January 2021

Each themed subgroup heard expert presentations from 3-4 experts on the theme.

·      Funding and levies: 16-17 November 2020

·      Transport: 2-3 December 2020

·      Agriculture, land and resources: 13 January 2021

·      Behaviour and technical facilities in/as part of the landscape: 25 January 2021

Drafting Recommendations: 11 January to 3 February 2021

Each themed subgroup met to draft recommendations on each theme.

·      Transport: 11 January 2021

·      Funding and levies: 18 January 2021

·      Agriculture, land and resources: 20 January 2021

·      Technology: 26 January 2021

·      Behaviour: 3 February 2021

Evening Gatherings: 13 and 23 February 2021

Two evening gatherings were undertaken to finalise recommendations on each theme.

On 13 February, the subgroups came together to comment on and suggest improvements to each other’s draft recommendations. Between the gatherings, DBT and two external critics commented on the drafts. Based on all the feedback, on 23 February, the subgroups prepared their final draft recommendations.

Weekend Gathering: 20 and 21 March 2021

The Assembly met to discuss and adopt the recommendations via voting.[2]

Phase 2: 30 October to 21 December 2021

In person meetings took place on 30 and 31 October and 27 and 28 November 2021.

Online, evening gatherings took place on 3, 10, 17 and 24 November, and 17 to 21 December 2021. [3] 

The first weekend meeting occurred on the 30th-31st of October 2021. The groups were responsible for writing a draft topic description which would include the assessments and recommendations of the jury. Post weekend meeting, the groups had a week where they could venture out, on their own accord, to arrange meetings in the evenings and look into the texts further. Not many of the groups actually chose to do this. Prior to the last evening meeting, all texts had been sent to the Citizens' Parliament so as to give everyone the same ability to prepare before the votes happened.

The voting took place in the final evening meeting. The members former four subgroups groups determined by drawing lots. This evening session was led by the Technology Council, during which comments were provided for all texts and all recommendations. Some of these texts included topics such as energy supply and urban development. For the most part, voting took place online however the assembly did accommodate those citizens who were not as accustomed to using online services and was given the option of voting through a traditional written ballot paper. 

There were two weekend meetings. These took place physically while the evening meetings all took place online.

The second weekend meeting ended with a meeting at Christiansborg involving the Citizens' Parliament, the KEF committee and the Minister. Although this meeting was scheduled for January 23rd of 2021, it had to be postponed until much later in the year following a spike in COVID-19 infection rates. 

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

The results of the first phase of the Assembly were published in a recommendations report [2], and delivered to the Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities and the Danish Parliament's Committee on Climate, Energy and Utilities on 29 April 2021 [4]. The Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan, Jorgensen, responded to the recommendations from the first phase on 25 June 2021, stating that the Government has made a cross-ministerial assessment of the recommendations and has committed to considering the recommendations for inclusion in future policymaking [5].

A Government response may also follow phase two. 

Ultimately the end of phase 2 saw the discussion of 18 topics and resulted in a total of 73 recommendations, which will be further highlighted in the outcomes section. The following include some of the recommendations: [6]

  1. The CARBON tax should be implemented as a means to reach the 70% target. This will encourage businesses to reduce their contributions to carbon footprint. This tax should continue to increase towards 2030. This recommendation received a vote that exceeded a staggering 97% of the jury making it one of the highest voted recommendations. 
  2. The state must take action to develop, control and continuously update a credible climate label. This will enable consumers to be more aware of the climate.
  3. Citizens are not well-informed regarding the topic of climate change. As a result, the jury has recommended the establishment of an annual Climate Day. 
  4. Assess how manufacturers deliberately focus on low durability and do not prioritise long service life and the ability to repair said product. Products should be repairable and not replaceable. 
  5. Agricultural practices that systematically follow recognised practices which positively impact the climate, biodiversity and the maintenance of soil fertility will be given a conversion grant. 

All of the aforementioned recommendations were voted highly, with the percentage of voters for the recommendations exceeding 70%. 

Analysis and Lessons Learned

The participants completed a survey after phase one to measure their satisfaction and views on the process [7]. The results show that 80% of the members were happy to participate and 72% would participate again. Over half of the participants thought that their time spent participating was worth it, either very much (47%) or to some extent (16%), however, several members commented that their views on this depend on the responses politicians give to the recommendations. Over half (54%) of the members thought that politicians should act on the recommendations and 28% thought politicians should comment on each recommendation.

Regarding the evidence they were provided with, most members (79%) thought the information was balanced.

When process moved from face-to-face to online, several members dropped out; 83 started the first phase and 59 completed it. At the end of the first phase most participants (72%) said they preferred the mix of in-person and online formats. 

See Also


[1] Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities. 2020. Citizens’ Assembly Information Material. Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities. (available at:

[2] Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities. 2021. The Citizens’ Assembly’s Recommendations. Available at:

[3] Danish Citizens' Assembly on Climate Issues. 2021. Danish Citizens' Assembly on Climate Issues. Available at:

[4] Danish Parliament. 2021. Television from the Folketing. Available at:

[5] Jørgensen, D. 2021. Ministerial letter to the members of the citizens’ assembly: Feedback on the treatment of recommendations. Available at:

[6] Borgertingets anbefalinger anden samling, 2022: Retrieved from:

[7] Danish Citizens' Assembly on Climate Issues. 2021. Citizen's evaluation of the 1st phase of Citizens' Assembly on Climate Process (October 2020 – April 2021). Available at:

External Links