Within the scope of the EU24 Engage for the Planet Project, the international event “CLIMATE DEBATE: Empowering underrepresented people’s voices and boosting their commitment to green mobility” took place in Strasbourg on September 28, 2023.
76 participants from more than 16 countries attended the event, which was organized by ALDA in partnership with the EU24 project partners Comparative Research Network, EAGEA Alumni, Open Plan Foundation and Changemaker. The event offered a great opportunity for debate on the obstacles to green mobility in Europe and potential solutions.
The conference aimed to empower and amplify underrepresented voices, making them join the discussion about green mobility and its impact on our planet. The discourse was significantly shaped by the encouragement given to youth and citizens from all backgrounds to express and share their perspectives. Participants engaged in high-profile discussions on the subject of green mobility, analyzing problems, possible solutions and suggestions for a greener and healthier future.
During the plenary session, Emma Pagliarusco from the Youth and Environment Europe, and Chloé Mothu and Victor Douilly from the Climate Agency of Strasbourg intervened bringing their valuable contribution to the success of the event. A representative of the Région Grand Est opened the conference with institutional greetings, and the EU24 project leader, Comparative Research Network, provided a detailed presentation of the project.
Guided by facilitators from the project partners, the participants from different countries and different backgrounds discussed in small groups on the future of green mobility in Europe, brainstormed and co-design a policy recommendation on the topic. During the work-in-groups sessions, facilitators used the method called “Articulating a Vision”, a debate technique aimed to identify the issue, visualize the future and try to find a solution together as a group on how to reach that future without illusions. Many interesting ideas on green mobility emerged from the group debates, and the results were presented to the plenary as a conclusion of the conference.
The group discussions revealed a particular focus of the participants on the issue of public transport, with many aspects being considered: accessibility of transport in economic terms (discounts on tickets and financial support for the purchase of tickets by institutions); awareness-raising and training on green mobility issues; incentives for innovation and technology for more advanced and modern forms of green mobility; incentives for the use of bicycles; and regulation of car production and circulation.
Overall, whether the participants came from different countries and had different backgrounds, all groups showed common items and the various discussions led to similar conclusions, revealing that what emerged from the groups represents the main challenges that most of the people perceive as urgent.
Moreover, as part of the poster competition launched in the framework of a project to link creativity with the raise of awareness of challenges and problems about the climate crisis. The poster competition works as a way to increase understanding of the difficulties and opportunities brought on by the climate crisis. Consequently it enables participants to connect local issues of sustainability, climate justice and climate change to broader discussions. Three posters in competition were exposed during the event, coming from Italy, France and Germany. The attendees in the conference had the opportunity to vote for the posters during the event, and the winner of the poster competition on green mobility was announced. The three posters were fully appreciated, and the italian Saba Armeni, won with her interesting work on green mobility. She will be invited to attend the project’s Final Conference in Brussels, in 2024.
The Climate Debate in Strasbourg has been a significant occasion to underline the importance of giving voice to citizens, especially the underrepresented and marginalized ones, with a wide and diverse audience. Together we aim to decrease the democratic participation gap of young citizens, citizens of diverse backgrounds, in a gender balanced way by showing them their voices matter.
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