97% of People want climate change policy action (as UK Gov. lets polluters off the hook!)

This comes as a poignant moment in the UK where the Conservative government, led by David Cameron & George Osborne, have reduced subsidies to renewable energy, thereby giving the green light to dangerous polluting coal companies like Drax Group PLC, who are now abandoning plans to start capturing poisonous emissions. They cite government policy as being the driver for this decision.

At a time when many countries around the world are suffering from extreme weather damage and the outlook for Britain over the next 20 years is set to worsen, this comes as a huge stepbackwards. The UK government are squandering years of being at the forefront of climate research and action to make short-term gains that do not so much benefit society, as the they do the companies supplying subsidised dirty energy like Drax.

* Strong Public Support for Political Leaders to Commit to Ambitious Climate Action Now

* The COP 21 Paris Agreement Needs to Open a Credible Path to Limit Global Warming to No More than 2 Degrees Celsius

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 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.

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.

 

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It is easy to look at the fires in southern Europe and think that “global warming” is a regional problem often on someone else doorstep. This misconception could not be further from the truth because the “global” bit refers only to global mean temperature. As scientists start to look at what is happening around the world, it becomes very clear that the interconnected global system is changing for all.

 

Dr. Saleemul Huq Director International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) at the Independent University, Bangladesh. In this short interview Dr Huq talks about his work and explains how those most vulnerable to the effects of manmade climate change are seeking recompense from the worlds greatest polluters.   

 

In 2014 Marks & Spencer became the only retailer in the world with carbon neutral operations. This huge undertaking across over 1400 stores has been rewarded with international recognition by the UNFCC winning Momentumn For Change award for carbon neutrality.