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GREEN VOICES: PUBLIC PARTICIPATION FOR CLIMATE ACTIVISTS

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– Analysis by European Center for Non-for-profit Law, published on 04 February 2021, accessible here

The paper is a follow up to the ECNL-ICNL briefer on measures used to target civil society actors working on climate justice. It examines Slovenia and Ireland  as case studies on how governments hinder  the right to participation of climate activists and environmental groups through legislative efforts.  We chose these European cases to manifest how participation rights can come under pressure by European governments and in countries with strong democratic institutions and established civil society.

This paper also provides an overview of how organized civil society and climate groups, both in Slovenia and Ireland, are actually pushing back against limitations in order to draw useful lessons from these efforts. We look at specific ways civil society can respond to restrictions to participation, such as:

  • Appealing to institutions as first avenue to share opinions;
  • Protests beyond COVID-19 limitations was used as a form of pressure;
  • Pressure on parliamentarians to support public concerns;
  • Courts in support of public concerns over environmental harms.