Raphaël Soffer, Environmental lawyer, ClientEarth

Is your government complying with the law when it comes to public participation and climate-policy decision making?

Frustratingly, many Member States have not consulted properly – or sometimes, not at all – with the public before adopting the draft NECPs. To comply with their legal obligations under the EU Governance Regulation and the Aarhus Convention, EU governments should organise public participation for both their national energy and climate plans and their long-term strategies as follows: 

  1. Open public consultations at the latest on September 2019.
  2. Make the consultations open to all interested individuals and organisations.
  3. Actively disseminate all the necessary information to the public, such as the draft versions of the plans and any other information relevant to the decision-making process. These include main reports and advice received as well as environmental and economic analyses and an outline of the main alternatives studied.
  4. Give the public an initial 6-week period to consider the information disseminated, followed by another 6-week period to allow for public participation. 
  5. Take the outcome of the public consultation into account and prepare and publish a document that sets out concretely how the public's comments have been considered.

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