Originally the development of the grassroots climate action plan was structured into five succesive phases:
- Publicizing the idea and looking for co-writers
- write down measures
- obtain feedback
In the course of time it became apparent that it was not practicable to work through the steps one after the other. This was because later steps (like getting feedback) influence earlier phases (like writing down measures). For example, the barrier to participation is also lower if content is already available that gives people ideas about the direction in which the project could develop.
Furthermore, we soon found out that after the intended six months of writing, no finished document would be available. Also, the ambition of the climate plan had to be adapted. For it was questionable whether a document could be produced at all, which would then only have to be put into practice and which would at the same time show, with an overwhelming burden of proof, that in the current system (publication should also be addressed to the Federal Government) no significant steps towards climate justice are possible.
Instead, it became clear that the negotiation of what climate justice (in and for Germany) means must be conducted in the first place - at least in a circle that includes not only the more radical climate justice groups. The Climate Plan wants to be a platform for this very purpose and therefore wants to remain a living, changeable document.
In the following we would like to critically examine the individual phases of its development and share our experiences:
While we were looking for Co-Writers we gained a lot of positive feedback on the idea. It was often shared, that a certain plan would be an import step for the climate justice movement. But at the same time, we rarely met people, who were willing to actively join in to write the plan. Partially this may be because of full schedules, but it couldn't have been the only reason.
One method of animating co-writers were so-called write-ins. This format was based on the idea of working on the climate plan with interested people in a physical meeting and discussing existing content. The results of these Write-Ins suggest that the format was too academic for some participants and therefore was too high-threshold and also had a deterrent effect on other people. Nevertheless, the Write-Ins were often described by participants as an experience of self-empowerment as well.
The grassroots climate plan has the claim to be socially and globally just and to incorporate as many different and divers perspectives as possible. This includes in particular the views of people, who are particularly affected by the effects of global warming, as well as minorities and groups that are marginalised and discriminated against in various ways. Now, after almost one year, we have to realise that we have not been sufficiently successful in involving a diverse group of people in the process of writing the grassroots climate plan. We have not yet received enough concrete feedback to really talk about global and intersectional justice. In order to achieve the discussion we want to have, we are still trying to establish and maintain contacts.
The conclusion we draw from this is that we need to critically reflect on our approach. As is so often the case in the German climate justice movement, which is primarily shaped by a white middle class, our approach was not inclusive enough to be appealing to all people.
With the first edition, we want to point out this reoccurring phenomenon and reflect on it together. We would like to receive critical feedback and would be happy to receive hints on how we can be more inclusive in our writing, thinking and acting. In addition, we would like to extend a warm invitation to all people who do not yet see their perspective represented in this first edition of the grassroots climate plan to get involved with their certain topics. We as a campaign want to learn, how we can make struggles that have often been marginalized visible and support the people involved.
Next to optical editing and the correction of mistakes, the goal of the finishing touches/fine-tuning should especcially be a simple language, that creates as little obstacles for understanding as possible. With an increasing number of text contribution, we understood, that many measures need a scientific language, in order to describe them adequately and that we presuppose an extensive knowledge of basic concepts. At the same time 'text' itself already is a big obstacle. We want to face these problems in different ways:
- With translating the climate plan in a simple language. Doing so, the original text can be kept whilst at the same time we can offer a version, that is reduced in content and easier to understand. Since we do not have the capacities for such a bigger project, this has to be postponed to the second edition.
- With compiling a glossary, which describes the most important keywords very briefly. This avoids having to look it up elsewhere and reduces the additional reading effort to a minimum.
- By communicating the contents of the climate plan in other formats, especially with the help of infographics and explanatory videos. This has also just begun and we hope to be able to add more and more material after the publication.
A further task of fine-tuning should be the incorporation of feedback and the clearance of duplications and contradictions in content. This, too, was only partially successful, since many contributions, as political texts, wanted to express generalizing classifications and fundamental criticism. Some questions of content could only be clarified with well-founded expert knowledge (which the fine-tuners do not have). And finally, in case of contradictions, a small group can not decide what is "right". This must be done through the larger discourse. Therefore, contradictory ideas are presented in this edition and then hopefully discussed lively.
The Publication takes place as a website and as print media in a very small edition, or respectively as PDF. The website provides access to all content created so far and also to comments that have been made (but not incorporated) so far. In addition, the site will be expanded step by step with illustrations and explanatory videos.
Only the editorially revised ("fine-tuned") texts are included in the print edition. Since we hope that this edition will be outdated relatively quickly, only a very small number will be printed and will hardly find public distribution.