Published on September 21, 2009

World Wide Views on Climate Change

Kumi Naidoo, © OECD http://www.oecd.org/

“We are counting down to the most important meeting of our lives.

“This December, world leaders are gathering in Copenhagen to forge a global climate deal. The impacts of climate change are mounting every day, but we still have time to put ourselves on the path to a better world.

“The TckTckTCk campaign is building the world’s largest mandate for action.

“This mandate will involve a great many people and organisations, and the World Wide Views initiative, with its emphasis on facilitating debate and engagement across the globe will play a really important part. We hope that the events across the world on the 26th will add weight to the body of evidence being taken to Copenhagen and demonstrate that wherever they live, people believe it is time for their leaders to make real change.”

Kumi Naidoo, Chair, Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA).

On September 26th 100 people in one town of the UK will be part of the most extensive global consultation ever held and the first of its kind – to influence key decision makers at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) from December 7 to 18 in Copenhagen.

The purpose is to enable citizens worldwide to define and communicate their positions on climate change.

In political processes decision-makers are provided with scientific and technical information which often represent the views of organised stakeholder groups such as industry representatives and environmentalists. But decision-makers should also be aware of the views of the public – of ordinary citizens outside stakeholder groups.

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 45 meetings in 38 countries, on the same day, groups of 100 people from Nigeria to Bangladesh, the United States to New Zealand will come together to discuss common questions in a structured consultation exercise.

They will decide their view on four key themes: the impact of climate change on communities and future generations; the urgency and their strength of commitment to tackle global warming; at what level emissions should be reduced and; how money should be raised to pay to manage emissions.

Their conclusions, including the percentage at which they believe their country should reduce emissions, will be announced as the time zones move around the earth – building an emerging global picture of what citizens want climate change policy to be.

In the UK, 100 people in Kettering will have the unique opportunity not just to contribute to a global conversation, but to directly influence the UK delegation to Copenhagen.

The citizen-led consultation in Kettering will be 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.

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