Public Participation under Action for Climate Empowerment

What do Ghanaian bamboo-bikes, solar bottle bulbs in the Philippines and a host of ingenious projects of this kind, along with dynamic peoples’ movements share in common? They all contribute to a concerted vision of an equitable, low-emission future. A future in a world where knowledge is widely shared and one in which inclusive participation remains a key ingredient in driving practical and innovative climate-resilient solutions now, and in the generations to come.

Article 6 of the Convention rallies together governments, civil society and other stakeholders to implement action that is collaborative, country-driven, interdisciplinary and culturally sensitive.

Article 6 also puts socially inclusive climate policy and implementation at the heart of its work. It strengthens the role of traditional, intergenerational and gender-sensitive knowledge and people’s participation in decision-making.

Article 6 makes climate change solutions everyone’s business. It breathes value and meaning to climate-smart actions, particularly action by young people who will inherit the future.

Public awareness under Action for Climate Empowerment

Public awareness initiatives seek to enhance general understanding, impact attitudes and help people make climate friendly choices. Popular media, such as television, radio, and print, together with social media, are among the most important means of communication and outreach. This entails spreading information about the causes and effects of climate change, and the practical and creative solutions that are urgently needed.

While public awareness strategies are grounded on efforts to share information as widely as possible, they also enable diverse voices to contribute to global and local discussions.

Public awareness is a core element of Article 6 of the Convention because it has the power to create critical mass engagement for one of the greatest challenges that we face.

Public participation under Action for Climate Empowerment

Public participation recognizes that everyone has something important to say and gives everyone a voice. Almost half a century ago, scientists and technical experts dominated national and global discussions on environmental change. Today, the role of people, particularly a progressive private sector and civil society, contributes to a diversity of voices that are fresh, vocal and innovative. 

Public participation is about long-term collaboration among different groups, as much as it is about the quality of how and the extent to which citizens partner with local and national governments to craft policies.

At its core, public participation is one of the key resources in implementing the vision of Article 6 of the Convention. It can transform society by giving people a voice and showing how their individual action can make a difference.

Public access to information under Action for Climate Empowerment

Closely related to building public awareness are many actions that ensure climate information remains transparent and accessible. Public access to information is not just about the dissemination of knowledge. It brings into question wider community-based structures and societal forces that shape how knowledge travels within multiple sectors, and across local, national, regional and international communities.

Public access to information encompasses the feedback loops and mechanisms that connect decision-makers, practitioners, and those directly impacted by the adverse impacts of climate change to share their understanding and experience.

More recently, the power of compelling stories and positive messaging have colored local and international public communication strategies. Beyond the old “gloom and doom” narratives, collaborative action-oriented strategies have changed how climate change is discussed, not just in policymaking, but in everyday life. Vibrant youth and indigenous movements are taking the lead in sharing their own experience and wisdom in increasingly visible ways.