On September 21st, the largest climate change mobilization in history took place; over 750,000 people around the world – including a staggering 400,000 in New York – marched for action on climate change. The march served as a platform to showcase the high level of activism from global citizens on this issue ahead of the Secretary–General’s Climate Summit.
The Climate Summit, a special conference ahead of the 69th General Assembly, gathered world leaders to announce ambitious climate change actions and goals on behalf of the governments they represented. Also in attendance were leaders from the private sector. “We are not here to talk. We are here to make history,” announced Mr. Ban Ki-moon in the opening ceremony. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner from the Marshall Islands spoke soon after on behalf of civil society about the threats facing people worldwide. She was selected from a pool of 544 people from 115 countries through an open process effort by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service. Her moving and riveting poem caused everyone in attendance to give a standing ovation.
The weeks following these events have left many to ponder: “What is next?” Many citizens are working at the national level to influence countries to make ambitious commitments towards a new legally binding global climate change agreement, to be reached in late 2015 in Paris.
Climate change has been acknowledged as a key cross-cutting issue which links with almost all other development issues. The MY World Survey with over 5 million voters shows that major development challenges impacted by climate change – A Better Education, Better Health Care and Better Job Opportunities – are all top priorities for people international.
A MY World Survey inspiration called MY Green World is currently in development in order to engage citizens in climate change solutions at the local, national and global levels. As Corinne Woods, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign described recently in an Opinion Piece published in the Huffington Post Climate Change series, “our goal is to speak to as many people as we can, because when people get together and speak their minds, they can make a difference. They can influence leaders to make bold moves.”
To ensure an inclusive and transparent approach to the survey, an open online consultation was launched through the World We Want 2015 platform. Corinne Woods emphasized the goal of MY Green World in her Op-Ed noting the survey’s goal to “focus minds on possibilities, suggest solutions and give a sense of what could be achieved.”
In the pursuit of a comprehensive and effective post-2015 agenda and a global climate change agreement, the first round of consultations to support the building of MY Green World–a MYWorld spin-off survey aimed to gather citizen perceptions of climate change solutions and popular support for government-led initiatives. The goal is to provide governments and world leaders with perceptions data to support their negotiations on climate change solutions from the Climate Summit on through COP 21, Paris.
Additional information regarding MY Green World’s open consultation can be found in recent ISSD news. Concerned citizens are urged to join the consultation and share their voices ahead of its launch at COP 20 in Peru, December 2014.