The Pathway to Paris project will be activating a number of issue-focused citizen workstreams on the World We Want platform. These workstreams will be built on the foundation of working sessions, through which advocates, collaborators, experts and newcomers, join together to reach coordinated approaches to raising ambition on the issue in question. These workstreams will allow partners from around the world to support deeper understanding and more creative thinking about actions agreed in Paris. The open working sessions and issue-focused workstreams will, in turn, serve as the foundation for a lasting, always-active Citizens' Climate Engagement Network, that will accelerate direct participation in future climate policy process, ambition and implementation.
Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change calls for facilitating participation by citizens, but does not lay out a specific process for that engagement. As a result, the governments who are Parties to the UNFCCC have left the focus of Article 6 more on education and information, sometimes making an effort to provide training and support to constituencies that can benefit from participating in climate solutions.
In June, the Article 6 dialogues called for a significant intensification of:
- Climate education, at all levels, especially among youth
- Training and support for vulnerable communities
- Technical training for businesses and local officials
- Direct citizen participation in climate policy and in the global process
The question, for many, remains: what can citizens do, while stepping up their engagement, to help achieve the other goals of the Convention, such as especially: avoiding dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system?
- Watch our press conference on the subject here
- Help kickstart the Workstream by joining this UN e-discussion
We invite you to join the founding team for the Participation Workstream, to go live in late August 2015.
To sign up, go to pathwaytoparis.org/workstreams and join.
An idea whose time has come
In 2010, when Citizens’ Climate Lobby brought 25 citizen volunteers to Capitol Hill, it felt like a big challenge to get enough people to go the distance, to meet with all 535 voting members of Congress. This year, we brought 36 times as many people, and it is looking more like we will need more elected officials to welcome and build relationships with all the citizen lobbyists coming to make democracy work.
The governing paradigm for energy policy and climate action is shifting, now, in real time. With a few crucial innovations, we can achieve a more rapid pace of decarbonization than was previously thought possible by any players in the global negotiations. We will need:
- Commitments that are catalytic, cooperative, and accelerating over time;
- A framework that makes clear no one wins by stalling action;
- Regular escalation of national commitments, with tangible economic benefits;
- More direct participation by citizens and civil society, at all levels.
Though many are frustrated with the pace of progress toward the Paris consensus, we have seen meaningful progress on all of the above.
On Thursday, April 23, the Villanova Center for Energy and Environmental Education (VCE3) hosted a Pathway to Paris working session with a focus on the ways Augustinian philosophy on truth, free will, learning and moral action, relate to climate civics and the global climate response. The working session was a small gathering intended to lay the foundations for a larger conversation over the summer and into the fall, regarding the most detailed, consistent and clear-thinking ways to match up moral motivation, scientific truth, and political action.Read more
The Carbon Pricing Workstream is the first of our policy-focused Workstreams for the COP21 in Paris to start regular work.
There is a standing meeting, every Thursday at 10:00 am EDT (New York time). See below for global start times.
With the goal of introducing principled guiding language into the final text of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the Paris Intervention Carbon Pricing Workstream is an action-focused initiative, within the Pathway to Paris Working Sessions, aimed at shaping language that can be included in the text of the Paris agreement to anchor a wide range of national carbon pricing initiatives and ensure that the voice of stakeholders is heard and included in the international climate agreement.
We will review and assess the current working text of the international climate agreement, explore its structure, examine the specific language used to address to carbon pricing, define and refine that language, expose weaknesses, “loop holes” and “escape hatches”, and identify areas of opportunity to introduce new language that supports economically efficient, socially equitable, and environmentally effective carbon pricing and climate solutions.
Working Session start times
- San Diego 7:00 am; New York 10:00 am
- London 3:00 pm; Paris 4:00 pm
- Abu Dhabi 6:00 pm; Dhaka 8:00 pm
- Perth 10:00 pm; Sydney 11:59 pm
To join our Working Sessions, download the free Fuze software, dial by phone or view in your browser.
- Fuze Meeting ID: 27660722
- Join by phone: +1-201-479-4595 (enter Meeting ID when prompted)
- URL: http://fuze.me/27660722 (view/listen only)
To sign up for our Carbon Pricing Workstream, go to pathwaytoparis.org/workstreams and join.
Our Pathway to Paris World Bank Working Session, held at the Civil Society Policy Forum on Wednesday, April 15, focused on the role of direct citizen participation in the global climate negotiations. For many reasons, direct citizen participation has been limited:
- One is there are already tens of thousands of people participating, representing interests, issues, places, solutions, grievances, and legal constructs.
- Another is that intergovernmental negotiations generally treat the interests of citizens and stakeholders as the province of their government officials. The sovereignty and political process of nations stand in for direct engagement.
- A third is that citizen participation is often equated to referenda, which are not always the best expression of the will of the people or the safest route to the policy that most benefits those voting.
- But a fourth, and perhaps most significant, is that we just don’t have a strong tradition of such engagement in multilateral negotiations.
Our working session produced powerful practical insights into the value of inclusive policy-making, stakeholder engagement, and outcomes that account for and embrace the complications of difference and variability.
On March the 12th, Citizens’ Climate Lobby hosted its 4th online working session for the Pathway to Paris project. (It was the 6th open working session in the series to date.) After the discussion, participants were given the opportunity to propose further comments and insights through an online form.
Much of the participants was again reducing carbon emissions through carbon pricing. The group discussed some complex issues relating to the design and implementation of this leading policy priority. This led to important new insights, specifically in relation to the difficulties inherent in changing the economic status quo, despite the already mounting costs of an escalating climate catastrophe. A focus was the need for efficient enabling policies to facilitate a broad shift in energy production practices.Read more
On February, 26th, 2015, our Pathway to Paris Online Working Session included a worksheet hosted through Google Forms. The objective was to deepen a process of inclusive policy direction, for framing a coordinated list of objectives and priorities for COP21.
The feedback from participants showed a great support to previously discussed top policy priorities:
- Greenhouse Gases Emissions Reduction,
- Carbon Pricing,
- Persistent Direct Citizen Engagement,
- Climate Finance,
- Intergenerational equity & Human Rights,
- Integrity & Preservation of Ecosystems.
On February 4, 2015, we held the first Pathway to Paris Online Working Session, open to people all over the world. The event reviewed the structure and work of Citizens' Climate Lobby and the Pathway to Paris project, and explored results from the in-person Working Sessions held in New York and Washington, on January 15 and 28, respectively. The Working Session then turned to discussion of affinities, and comment on ideas and outcomes from 9 distinct issue areas, arising out of previous discussions: Carbon Pricing, Climate Finance, an Institution Outside the UNFCCC, Intergenerational Equity, International Cooperation (to secure a carbon price without leakage), Knowledge/Leverage to Empower Citizens & Consumers, The Public Trust, Redefining Targets to Motivate Action, and Water & Food Resources.Read more
The Symposia and Workshops of the NCSE Conference are meant to be wide-open discussions, so they follow the Chatham House Rules, where direct attribution is barred. We can share the names of the panelists from our Symposium, and we can say that the results of that session, with moderated discussion, were: fresh insights, new connections between competing perspectives, and a solid endorsement of carbon pricing, a bold transition to a low-carbon economy, and the role of citizens in making good policy happen.Read more