On September 26th, 100 people from Kettering in the UK were part of the most extensive global consultation ever held and the first of its kind. This event will influence key decision makers at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) from December 7 to 18 in Copenhagen.
The purpose was to enable citizens worldwide to define and communicate their positions on climate change. Decision-makers should also be aware of the views of the public. It is citizens who have to live with future climate policy, which is why they should be consulted before decisions are made at COP15. It is therefore not just desirable but necessary that members of the public shape a debate which can seem remote and unrelated to everyday life. In around 50 countries, on the same day, groups of 100 people from Nigeria to Bangladesh, the United States to New Zealand came together to discuss common questions in a structured consultation exercise.
They decided their views on four key themes and their conclusions, including the percentage at which they believe their country should reduce emissions – the results of which can be viewed here
The citizen-led consultation in Kettering was the starting point for discussions in towns up and down the United Kingdom as Our Town Views on Global Warming involves more people in shaping the UK position on global warming in the months towards Copenhagen.
Read the UK report here.
Read the final international report here.
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Image by Manuel Atienza