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Activists to be chosen to speak at UN climate summit



Today more than 500 members of the public will hear whether they have been chosen to attend the UN Climate Summit in September. Environmental activists from 115 countries put forward their names to be considered to address issues of climate change to world leaders at the summit.

The competition is described as the first of its kind that has opened to allow members of the public to apply to address more than 100 heads of state and government.

The summit will be held at UN headquarters in New York on 23 September and was called for by secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. It is hoped the event will encourage leaders to become proactive in reducing carbon emissions and create ambitious climate change targets in 2015.

Susan Alzner, the officer in charge of the New York office of the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN NGLS), which is overseeing the project, said, “There’s never been a process like this before – where so many speaking and attendance roles for civil society in a UN summit were open for nominations.

“The open source approach is showing that incredible work on climate change is happening across the world.”

A civil society committee will decide on the 544 active climate change campaigners who applied.

Applicants submitted videos and many have experienced the devastating effects of climate change first hand.

Final selections will be announced on Friday 29 August with 38 receiving slots to attend the summit and three people will be selected to go on the panel, “voices from the frontlines of climate change”.

Just one winner will be chosen to address the summit opening and those applying for the opening speaking part must be female, under 30 and from a developing country. The organisers made this decision as they note the majority of the poorest in society are women and they face disproportionate impacts of climate change worldwide.

Photo: via Flickr

Further reading:

UN Climate Summit: launch global call to action

Massive emission reductions needed by 2050 to limit climate change damage, reports UN

Climate change targets may not be enough to prevent 2C global warming

EU Commissioners announce 30% energy savings target by 2030

Environmental groups and countries call for more ambitious energy savings target for EU


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