CCEN Proposal for Public Participation Reform

Submitted Friday, February 19, 2016, to the UNFCCC Secrerariat as a proposed reform to the Doha work program on Article 6 of the Convention 

The Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network (CCEN) is an always-active platform for direct citizen participation in global processes that determine how one’s community, nation, region, or future generations, will fare in the face of climate disruption. It operates on the premise that individual human beings, households, and communities—no matter how marginal or wanting for political power and influence—should be able to bring their ideas, aspirations, and needs, into the high-level settings where global policy is decided. Its mission is to foster active citizen participation as integral to the global commons of irreplaceable values on which a dignified human existence depends.


Background

Paragraph 20 of the Doha Work Programme on Article 6 of the Convention calls for

public participation in addressing climate change and its effects and in developing adequate responses, by facilitating feedback, debate and partnership in climate change activities and in governance, noting the important role that social media platforms and strategies can play in this context.

The CCEN is an always-active, open and inclusive platform for direct citizen collaboration in this work.

This submission is made by IAAI on behalf of the CCEN project and coalition partners.


Structure

The CCEN will be governed by an Advisory Coalition of nonprofit leadership partners and UN agencies, a Secretariat for implementation—comprised of 1/3 representatives of founding partners, with 2/3 of positions rotating every 2 years by an agreed selection process—and a Global Team Structure of local leaders, delegates, and volunteers.

In order to ensure the integrity of the administrative infrastructure for management of the CCEN process, leading coalition partners like IAAI provide institutional support, to ensure consistency, coherence, transparency, and legitimacy of process and purpose, in local convenings, reporting to the global process, and management of local networks.


Action

A Toolkit for designing and hosting local working sessions will facilitate the building of locally rooted networks of CCEN leaders. Those meetings will lead to reporting back to the CCEN, to local and national policy-makers, and to the global negotiating process. Issues of regular focus will become ongoing thematic Workstreams for global citizen engagement.

These Workstreams will provide evergreen reports that relay local insight, innovative approaches both to supporting local networks for climate action and to implementing solutions that achieve the mandate of the Convention—to avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Local working sessions are intended to be inclusive, to draw in a diverse range of partners and collaborators, and to provide even the most marginal communities—with little to no prior access to information about climate impacts, policy or process—a direct and enhanced role in shaping the policy discussion both locally and globally.

The Local Working Sessions, Workstreams, and Workstream Reports, with the support of locally rooted networks of CCEN leaders, under the guidance of Advisory Coalition members, will come together in Globally Networked Convenings, where citizen leadership on climate action is recognized, celebrated, and channeled into new thinking about how to raise the ambition of national and global climate policy.


Ongoing Structural Support

To ensure quality, transparency, feasibility, and long-term structural integrity of the CCEN process, partners to the Advisory Coalition will oversee the planning and hosting of local working sessions, the management of local networks of leaders and volunteers, and participation of CCEN nodes and affiliates in collaborative reporting processes, such as the ACCESS to GOOD Report or other analyses of climate cost, best practices, transition progress, and human-scale economic realities flowing from global climate action.

National governments, as parties to the UNFCCC, can facilitate this process of empowerment, and maximize the benefit of this process to international negotiations and to the mobilization of smart climate policy, by ensuring local convenings are recognized, by ensuring citizens’ groups have access to public officials, and by coordinating with local network leaders in an ongoing way.


Youth Empowerment

As IAAI and partners build a system of Global Challenges Youth Centers, they will play a role in facilitating access to Information and Communication Technology. Such ICT enhancements will include internet access, mapping, data management, citizen-science, crowd-evaluation, verification of information and outcomes, as well as infrastructure and tools that connect local youth participation with the global landscape of the CCEN.

Our proposal draws insight from the spirit of engagement promoted by collaborating UN institutions, such as UNICEF. UNICEF is one of the UN organizations committed to participation as a means of driving change, specifically advocating for the view that children should not be treated merely as a vulnerable group in need of care or as beneficiaries of policy initiatives, but rather as actors in their own right. They have unique insight and need to have a say in how their future is designed.

By providing these and other opportunities for young people to engage the global climate policy process, in a regular, ongoing, and locally rooted way, the CCEN process will build concrete actions for climate empowerment into an expanding global space for substantive climate civics. This work is intended to support rapid and ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and its call to honor the principle of intergenerational equity.


Advisory Coalition Partners

Founding Advisory Coalition partners include: IAAI, the Global Challenges Foundation, Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Citizens’ Climate Education, Association Actions Vitales pour le Developpement Durable, and ICCCAD. Civic engagement leaders from intergovernmental institutions such as UNICEF and UNEP have also provided advice and guidance. [Full List of Partners]

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About The CCEN Team

The Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network is a new global framework to support and expand direct citizen and stakeholder engagement in the intergovernmental climate negotiating process. It emerged from the Pathway to Paris project—with the support of Citizens’ Climate Education and Citizens’ Climate Lobby, in collaboration with the UN Millennium Campaign and the World We Want platform. The foundational structure was announced on October 25, 2015, during the Minneapolis 2015 Climate Action: Last Stop Before Paris, and the COP21 in Paris is the venue for its global launch. Everyone is welcome to participate in the shift to a thriving climate future.