Citizens discussed climate change and shared their view on future initiatives

The project World Wide Views on Climate and Energy collected the inputs and opinions from 10.000 citizens worldwide, in order to further their level of influence on future initiatives on climate politics.

 

Initiators: Funds, French regions via Associations des Régions de France, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norwegian Board of Technology and the Umweltbundesamt.

Period: 2015-2016

 

Context
The Danish Board of Technology was amongst the original initiators on this project. It offered citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on climate change; debates usually dominated by scientists, politicians and influential interest groups. It is the largest citizen involvement project to date. The results were aimed at global politicians and stakeholders involved in the ongoing negotiations on climate change policies.

 

Method
The method WWViews was introduced in 2009 and reused in 2012. Based on evaluations, the 2015 version has been adjusted and optimized. 97 debates were held in 76 countries across 5 continents. 10.000 citizens participated worldwide, all on June 6th, 2015. The citizens were provided with impartial, balanced information beforehand and at the debate they were given 34 questions divided into 5 categories:

  • The 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

Our web-tool collected the data and made them instantly available for online comparison and statistical presentations.
Danish Board of Technology Foundations’ role
Danish Board of Technology initiated this project along with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and managed the fundraising. During the project, the Danish Board of Technology served as a coordinator in cooperation with Missions Publiques, coordinating the 106 partners involved.

This method can be used to involve a representative segment of national or global citizens, e.g. on EU initiatives or subjects of international interest. It allows for quick comparison and statistical presentation of data from global citizen engagements.

 

Results
Based on the answers given by the 10.000 citizens who participated in this project, 12 recommendations were presented to an assortment of global politicians during the COP21 in Paris:

  • Citizens worldwide want their leaders to commit to ambitious climate action, now.
  • Citizens want zero emissions by the 2100.
  • The COP21 agreement needs to open up a credible path to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. These commitments must be legally binding and subject to control.
  • Climate change is an opportunity to improve the quality of life, rather than a burden.
  • Introduce carbon taxes and invest in renewable energy.
  • Citizens from high- or low-income countries mostly agree on how to deal with climate change; the north/south gap is closing.
  • Countries should assume responsibilities based on their individual capabilities and emission levels.
  • All countries must take action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The private sector should contribute significantly to climate finances.
  • High-income countries should increase their climate finance commitments, as well as contribute more to mitigation and adaptation in low-income countries.
  • Citizens want to take man active part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • They also expect to be to take part in deciding on climate politics.