The Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) agenda and its six elements - education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information and international and regional cooperation - are fundamental requirements for the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement (Article 12, Paris Agreement, COP 21 in 2015). While ACE has so far been seen as a topic primarily concerning national governments and some specific stakeholder groups, it is clear that its full implementation will require a much wider involvement of stakeholders from across public and private sectors, and civil society.
The private sector has been very so far largely absent from ACE discussions. There is both an opportunity and responsibility for companies and corporations to integrate ACE as a fundamental element of staff support, regardless of the level and function of the individual staff. This also applies to other sectors – public sector and civil society –where the responsibilities of different organizations, ministries, or departments may not be directly related to climate action, but where everybody in their individual and professional capacities can move the agenda within their area of influence towards a more climate friendly society.
2019 has been dubbed “The Year of Ambition” with a momentum to increase ambition and participation by all part of society in the climate action agenda. This is spearheaded by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, who is organizing a High-Level Climate Summit in New York in conjunction with the opening of the UN General Assembly on 23 September 2019. The outcomes from the Climate Summit will feed into the UNFCCC process through the 25th Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC (COP 25) in Santiago in Chile in December 2019. The Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) agenda is crucial for raising ambition and scaling up climate action. Therefore, the importance of mobilizing support to ACE.
The International Symposium aims to catalyse wider engagement in, and support to, the implementation of the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) agenda, specifically Article 12 of the Paris Agreement and its related Katowice Climate Package, which established the high-level political consensus on the importance of fostering education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation- to addressing the climate crisis.
The Symposium will bring together ACE national focal points, representatives from governments, international organizations, the private sector, local and regional authorities, academia, youth, and philanthropic organizations to discuss how to raise the profile of, and mobilize support to, the ACE agenda in order to raise ambition and accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The High-level event will mobilize global decision-makers who will commit to climate action in their areas of influence by signing the Burgenland Declaration on Action for Climate Empowerment. Interested countries, companies and other key stakeholders are invited to commit/pledge to provide substantial support to the ACE agenda and to the ACE national focal points.
This two-day event will be organized in two parts:
• The Symposium will take place for one and a half days on Sunday, 13th and Monday 14th October in the morning.
• The high-level event will take place in the afternoon of Monday, 14th October where dignitaries, including Austrian Chancellor, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, the Federal Minister for Sustainability and Tourism, Austria, and the Governor of the Austrian state of Burgenland, the diplomatic court in Austria, CEO of companies as well as media will be invited.
This event is organized for the ACE National Focal Points, representatives from governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-Party stakeholders, the private sector, local and regional authorities, academia, young people, and philanthropic organizations.
Place and venue
The events will take place in Pamhagen, Austria at the Eco-resort Vila Vita. https://www.vilavitapannonia.at/en/events.html
The events are organized by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism in cooperation with UN Climate Change secretariat, and in collaboration with the state of Burgenland and the Austrian-German Friendship Association.