Civics for Rapid, Scalable Climate Action

Active Citizen Participation to Universalize the Paris Effect 

ace-logoArticle 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change calls for public participation in climate action. This can mean many things; we propose it mean that active, direct citizen participation in the design and deployment of climate solutions be the standard. We propose this be done universally, through a network of collaborating partners to ensure mutual empowerment through the same process of empowerment of citizens and community groups.

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Tunisian winners of Nobel Peace Prize prove the power of dialogue

by Gina Torry

For anyone who has ever asked themselves if their voice as a citizen matters or could make a difference when it come to peace and security — the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize, has issued a resounding response: Indeed.

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Pope calls for Dialogue and Mutual Empowerment

In his historic address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, Pope Francis called America “a land of dreams”, which he said can lead the world in a shift to deep, inclusive politics and economics that brings people together, eliminates harm, and guarantees dignity and reciprocity. 

Pope Francis has come to the United States with a very clear and universal message: there are injustices no free and conscientious people can accept and against which all people of good will should work together. Challenges like climate change, immigration and income inequality are not ideological issues, partisan issues or issues of opinion or preference; they are deep moral issues. And we must do our best to work in solidarity, to oppose these unnecessary injustices.

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Introducing the People+Planet Project

Building Partnerships to Achieve the SDGs and Climate Agreements

  • Report on the July 23, 2015 discussion on the People + Planet Project, a Post–2015 Action Platform
  • Hosted by the United Nations Post–2015 Development Planning Unit Executive Office of the Secretary-General
  • Presented by Natalia Vega-Berry, Campaign Director of the People + Planet Project An initiative developed by The Global Brain

In response to the momentous query What is our responsibility post–2015 to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Agreements are realized?, we have developed the People + Planet Project, to ensure actions will be taken by citizens, organizations, NGO’s and business following the announcement of the SDG’s and the new climate agreements at COP21.

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Quiet Revolt Stuns UK Pollsters

For weeks, public opinion polls in the UK have shown the contest for leadership of the UK government to be a dead heat, likely to require a complicated negotiation to achieve a new governing coalition. Nearly every poll showed the Conservatives and Labour to be hovering around 34 percent support each. No one was expected to win an outright majority. Late last night, however, exit polls showed something radically different: David Cameron’s Conservatives beat Labour 37 to 31 in the popular vote, and would hold an outright majority in Parliament, while the Scottish National Party won nearly every seat in Scotland.

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Disruptive Optimism for Serious Change

We need non-expert voices in the room. No individual expert knows everything, many decision-makers are themselves non-experts, and considering stakeholders’ voices leads to more legitimate, relevant and viable policy outcomes. Significant improvements in the prevailing condition require disruption of the status quo. The status quo implicitly extends from the status quo ante, the prevailing norms that preceded the current state of affairs and on which the structures we know were founded. Expertise is rooted in an examination of these two states, and can provide a sound and reasoned reference for how to move into the future, but when we look to achieve a post status quo reality, where human conditions are greatly improved and the previously unavailable has become commonplace, we have to recognize that we are looking beyond what is known. Expertise unaccompanied by the power of imagination and a hot contest of ideas can lead to planning not well adapted to visualizing, comprehending or catalyzing disruptive optimizing change.

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Citizens Engage World Governments in Lima

The 20th Conference of the Parties, held in Lima last month, produced a consensus agreement among 195 governments, which provides the draft structure for “an agreed outcome with legal force” to be finalized in Paris, in December 2015. During the Lima Conference, governments engaged each other, non-governmental organizations engaged the process, and through Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the Pathway to Paris project, I had the privilege of helping to bring the voices of citizens from around the world directly into the process.

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