Bonn Talks See Progress for Citizen Participation

Bonn — Wednesday, 17 May 2017 — 10:00 am local time

Citizen Engagement Creates Conditions for Climate Success

Faster timelines to better policy outcomes through citizen participation in policy design and implementation

Over the course of three years of engagement in the ACE[1] Dialogues, Citizens’ Climate Education and the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network have developed targeted recommendations for public participation reform.


To ensure Article 6 of the 1992 Convention—and the Doha Work Programme on Implementation of Article 6—can mobilize the widest landscape of climate-resilient local and national policy, we put forward these four actionable priorities, for consideration within the SBI and by the COP23:

  1. Citizen participation in national, regional, and global processes
  2. An ACE platform (similar or linked to NAZCA) for active collaboration and mutual empowerment among non-party actors engaging citizens
  3. Universal stakeholder status, as under the Aarhus Convention
  4. Principle of mutual education (governments to citizens, and citizens to governments)

These four priorities emerge from decades of successful citizen engagement in legislative process in North America, Europe, and around the world, and in the success of inclusive public consultation efforts for development reform.

The MyWorld consultation process—which gathered subjective responses from more than 8 million people in more than 170 countries, demonstrated that wider engagement raises ambition. The results, which can be explored online at, grounded the negotiation of the 2030 Development Agenda in the knowledge that people everywhere wanted all policy aims to be sustainable.

On 23 February, 2017, at the request of the Secretariat, Citizens Climate Education submitted their second proposal on ways to enhance participation of non-Party stakeholders in the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. That submission was delivered by Joseph Robertson, Global Strategy Director at Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Citizens’ Climate Education, speaking for IAAI and the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network (CCEN).


The SB46 mid-year UNFCCC negotiations also saw the debut of the Education, Communications, and Outreach Stakeholders group (ECOS)—a forum for always-active engagement of citizens, communities, and those working to facilitate ECOS engagement. The ECOS Community will be a venue for coordinated planning and collaboration among those who want to see more open public engagement and citizen participation in policy design and implementation.


In an interview from Bonn, Joseph Robertson—Global Strategy Director for Citizens’ Climate Education and Citizens’ Climate Lobby—said:

In this incredibly complex process, every nation matters, every perspective must be recognized, and really heroic work is done by smart and earnest people whose names may never be known to history. It is a hopeful place, where people do good, honest work, on the most challenging coordinated crisis response ever attempted.

On the launch of the ECOS Community, Robertson commented:

I want to congratulate IAAI, the Climate Secretariat, and civil society, for creating the ECOS Community. To achieve the most efficient pathway to a climate-smart zero-emissions economy, governments need to engage directly with people and communities. Only by expanding this engagement can we ensure all existing and active capability is accounted for, recognized, mobilized, and built upon.

Making conversations between engaged climate citizens into an action plan for ongoing engagement empowers individuals, as well as public officials, institutions, and multi-stakeholder multi-lateral processes for policy making. By providing accessible spaces and tools, such as an interactive resource library, CCEN is supporting development of ACCESS to GOOD—through which the opportunity for ongoing global ACE engagement becomes more achievable.

NOTE: The Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network, Citizens’ Climate Education, and the ACCESS to GOOD project, are part of the ECOS community, and work with IAAI, the Global Challenges Action Network, CliMates, the CLIC youth movement, YOUNGO and others, in support of ECOS engagement and ACE implementation.

[1] ACE = Action for Climate Empowerment. The agenda item relating to Article 6 of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change—public participation—was renamed in 2015, in anticipation of the Paris Agreement. Paris Agreement Article 6 deals with cooperative mitigation strategies, while Article 12 deals with participation.