Overline: Energy transition
Headline: More Than Just Discussions: Research Focuses on Ariadne Project’s Deliberation Processes

Over close to three years, researchers with the Ariadne project have surveyed public opinion on the energy transition on multiple occasions – both online and  at hybrid events, and most recently in person at the Citizens' Summit in Berlin. The citizens' conferences, which included the first in person discussions of the process, were complemented by two surveys conducted as part of the Social Sustainability Barometer of the Energy and Transport Transitions. Experts from MCC Berlin and RIFS have now presented the findings of their research in a new analysis of the Ariadne citizen deliberation processes. Their results show that the majority of those surveyed are willing to back measures that will support Germany’s efforts to achieve climate neutrality. The research also reveals that citizens attach great importance to access to sustainable alternatives and affordable mobility as well as public participation and local value creation along the energy supply chain.

Research conducted under the Ariadne project shows that citizens are willing to back changes necessary for the energy transition.
Research conducted under the Ariadne project shows that citizens are willing to back changes necessary for the energy transition. Shutterstock/TeraVector

The energy transition is affecting people in their everyday lives across Germany – from the electricity supply to personal mobility – and it can only succeed if we work together. Surveys and deliberative formats offer a means to assess people’s opinions and values in relation to climate policy and action. Participation formats, on the other hand, give people the opportunity to actively contribute to transformation processes and learn more about their consequences.

Researchers with the Ariadne project analysed two different data sets. Participants in the citizens' conferences held in November 2021 were surveyed on the policy options under discussion ahead of and following each event. Parallel to this, a representative online panel survey gauged public opinion on these options as part of the research for the Social Sustainability Barometer. The social impacts of the various measures were also outlined to respondents in order to observe possible shifts in opinion due to the availability of this information.

The results of these innovative and complementary approaches will be incorporated into the Ariadne dialogue process and research, and will also shape the development of the next iteration of the Social Sustainability Barometer in 2023. Decision-makers in politics and public administration will be able to use the insights gained through the Ariadne deliberation processes to better consider the needs of citizens in relation to transformation processes impacting the electricity and transport systems.

Publication (available in German only):

Mareike Blum, Ingo Wolf, Jean-Henri Huttarsch, Martin Kowarsch (2023): Quo vadis Klimapolitik? Bürgerperspektiven auf Politikoptionen in Energie und Verkehr. Kopernikus-Projekt Ariadne, Potsdam.

Press contact:

Maria Bader, Communications Manager for Ariadne, bader [at] mcc-berlin [dot] net (bader[at]mcc-berlin[dot]net)