Climate Policy Needs Democracy and Public Participation

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)
No.2, 2013
Climate Policy Needs Democracy and Public Participation
Marianne Kneuer
In the discussions on the protection of climate, attention is now centered on the output performance and governments’ abilities in governance. In the contrary, there is rare attention on the dimension of input. It is the case both on the level of politics and in the discussions in the political science. The central argument in the article is: it is problematic to one-sidedly focus on the dimension of output, because the perspective does not pay attention to the potential contributions both citizens as individuals and society as a whole can make and must do. The effectiveness and sustainability of political decision-making on the climate absolutely do not depend only on the up-to-down regulation of state administration. To the same extent, they also depend on the bottom-up perspective from the public, citizen society and other NGOs. The larger space and more possibilities for latter’s participative behaviors, the higher extent to which they are incorporated in the processes of decision-making and implementation of policy, the more effective climate policies would be and the more sustainable they are.