PEOPLE in Blaenau Gwent have been invited to share their views and solutions for tackling the climate crisis in what will be Wales’ first climate assembly.
The Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly will be held online during two weekends in March, bringing residents together from across the borough to address the question: “What should we do in Blaenau Gwent to tackle the climate crisis in a way that is fair and improves living standards for everyone?”
Ten thousand households in the borough have received written invitations to register their interest in participating.
From those who apply to be involved, 50 people will then be randomly selected to take part and will learn about climate issues facing their community, discussing the themes of housing, nature and transport before proposing and debating potential solutions.
The assembly is being organised by housing associations United Welsh, Linc Cymru, Melin Homes and Tai Calon in partnership with sustainable development charity Cynnal Cymru, Blaenau Gwent Council and Electoral Reform Society (ERS) Cymru.
Steve Cranston, foundational economy lead for housing association United Welsh, said the assembly is “a fantastic opportunity to capture the views of local people representing the wider population about what needs to happen, helping decision-makers across the Welsh public sector to shape their approach”.
“As a partnership, we are looking forward to coming together with people in Blaenau Gwent to learn, challenge and inspire action,” Mr Cranston said.
The assembly will see leading experts present information on climate change to the 50 participants to inform discussions.
Jess Blair, director of ERS Cymru said: “Through this climate assembly Blaenau Gwent is leading the way in Wales on a new model of democracy, which gives local people a greater say in issues that affect them.”
Ms Blair said the assembly will give a representative sample of people in the community “a chance to discuss, deliberate and produce recommendations that will be heard by decision-makers across local government, local registered social landlords and Welsh Government”.
The assembly has received funding from the Welsh Government through a consortium managed by energy service provider Sero.
The recommendations from the assembly will be shared with consortium partners and Blaenau Gwent council to help inform engagement for climate change in future.
Michelle Morris, managing director at Blaenau Gwent council said: “Climate change is a global issue and it’s absolutely vital that we act now to protect our environment for the well-being of future generations and I am sure that the climate assembly will help us all focus on this.”