News The African Way

Fiji to Kick-Off Largest Ever In-Depth Survey of Global Public Opinion on Climate Change

Kaduna (Nigeria) – 10,000 citizens representing a cross section of society in 79 countries will meet on Saturday to make their voices heard in the international climate change negotiations leading to Paris, France this December.

Groups of around one hundred citizens per location will attend daylong meetings to deliberate on some of the most important issues facing the world today: climate and energy.

Preliminary results from this unique event will be presented next week (10 June) at the June sessions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) taking place in Bonn, Germany in advance of the UN climate conference (COP 21) 2015, and at several other key meetings over the coming key months.

From dawn in Fiji to dusk in Arizona
With 100 debates worldwide and 79 participating countries, World Wide Views on Climate and Energy is going to be the largest ever global citizen consultation on climate change.

Beginning at dawn in Fiji and ending at dusk in Arizona, at least 100 citizens in each location, reflecting the demographic diversity of their country or region will discuss issues of climate change and vote on an identical set of questions.

The results from this voting will be published immediately on http://climateandenergy.wwviews.org/results/, making it possible for everyone to follow live the statements of lay citizens to the challenges confronting policy makers at COP 21 – and to compare the views of citizens in different countries and groupings relevant for these negotiations.

How concerned are the citizens about the impacts of climate change? Should policy makers decide in Paris to do whatever it takes to limit global warming – or be less ambitious? Should a Paris agreement be legally binding for all countries, or only for some? And how do the answers to these questions differ between citizens in developed and least develop countries – or between people living in islands and the whole world as such?

Voting on well informed basis
The simultaneous meetings around the world will focus on five thematic sessions:
* Importance of tackling climate change
* Tools to tackle climate change
* UN negotiations and national commitments
* Fairness and distribution of efforts
* Making and keeping climate promises

Prior to the meetings, all citizens have received an information booklet about pros, cons and views on different climate and energy policies, targets and measures.

On the day, a short video will introduce each theme. After discussing the actual theme, the citizens will vote on the questions related to it.

How to follow the voting and results live
Visit http://climateandenergy.wwviews.org/results/ to follow the voting live. As the meetings go on in nearly all time zones, the results will come in during more than 24 hours. On June 5, the information booklet and videos will be published at the web page http://climateandenergy.wwviews.org/project-essentials/. On June 6, the questions will be available here as well.

Unique contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
The initiative has received France’s official COP 21 label, and it is an important contribution to the awareness raising efforts of the Convention, underlining the need of public participation in addressing climate change and its effects and developing adequate responses.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, said: “This is a unique engagement with men and women, with adults and teenagers from countries world-wide coming together to share their ideas and crystalize their opinion on one of the greatest challenges of this generation”.

“I hope that decision makers will find this initiative an important echo chamber of citizens’ concerns, hopes and aspirations for the kind of world they want for themselves and their children. It is also an important contribution to galvanizing public understanding of what can often seem a highly complex topic, but one that goes to the heart of everyone’s lives. I look forward to presenting the preliminary results next week in Bonn and at a press conference on June 10,”she added.

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