Bonn. - Citizens worldwide have given their leaders a clear message to commit to immediate and ambitious climate action which leads to deep and decisive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the century. These are among the key findings to be presented in the final results report from World Wide Views, the largest ever global citizen consultation on climate change carried out among 10,000 citizens in 76 countries across all time zones on the same day in June. The final report is being launched on Saturday, 26 September at a high-level event during the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.
The response from citizens, which was overwhelmingly in favor of strong and ambitious climate action, highlights the global public’s conviction that governments need to reach a strong and effective new climate change agreement at COP 21, the UN climate change conference in Paris, in December.
Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: "The voice of ordinary citizens- of men and women North and South, East and West—has now been heard ahead of Paris and that voice is clear and consistent: they want a strong and durable global climate agreement that will, over the decades to come, restore the balance of planet Earth and avoid dangerous climate change."
"World Wide Views has also shown that people everywhere have a deep understanding of the challenge and the paths we must take to a sustainable future. The message to leaders is clear: there is popular, public support for an ambitious, forward-looking agreement adding to the growing voice of so many businesses, cities, territories and regions," she added.
It presents 12 key findings which focus on four main citizen requests: immediate and faster climate action by national leaders; greater finance for climate action; building more progress in line with the different capacities of countries; strengthening the role of citizen participation in the UN climate negotiations.
The worldwide consultation revealed a global citizenship both well-informed and motivated about climate change but which wants to know more about the concrete issues so it can take a direct part in the solutions. This requires a sharp and sustained focus on education, training and public awareness at all levels of government, society and enterprise to empower everyone to take climate action. The UNFCCC supports these initiatives under its ACE (Action for Climate Empowerment) initiatives.
A Unique Contribution to Global Policymaking in Paris at COP 21 WWViews results are based on well-established principles for citizen participation. They offer detailed insights into lay people’s views on climate change and energy, and unique input on how to implement global policies to deal with these issues.
The results show a clear worldwide support by citizens for their politicians to take ambitious action against climate change. A total of 97% of citizens across the globe want a Paris agreement to include a long-term goal for zero emissions by the end of this century, and two-thirds of the citizens want this goal to be legally binding for all countries. The strong support for taking action also reflects a high level of concern for the effects of climate change – among the 97% of participants worldwide who are concerned about the effects of climate change, 78% declared they are “very concerned”.
Although results differ between the 76 countries, there are only minor differences between continents, developed and developing countries and generations. Interestingly, young and adult participants voted in very similar ways.
ABOUT WORLD WIDE VIEWS ON CLIMATE AND ENERGY
10.000 citizens from 76 countries selected to reflect the demographic diversity of their respective countries and regions participated to a daylong global consultation. They were provided with unbiased information about climate change and energy and about the international discussions on policy measures to handle these issues. Citizens were given time to deliberate with each other in order to develop their opinions. The participating citizens voted on 34 predefined questions, and the report is a thoroughly work analysis on the results from this voting.
=> Report: Climate and Energy
=> The event will be in the North Lawn UN Building, Conference Room 6 from 3pm-5pm (EDT) and will be streamed live by UN Web television. Other web and social media information can be followed here and at #WWViews.