The Secretary-General has made it a top priority of his tenure to raise awareness at the highest level of the potential impacts of climate change and the necessity for taking urgent action. He is pursuing that personally, in cooperation with other UN system Executive Heads, as well as through his Special Envoys on Climate Change and other senior UN officials.
While political buy-in is key to making strides towards tackling climate change, individual action undertaken by more informed citizens is fundamental as well. The UN Communications Group Task Force on Climate Change, through its member agencies, has developed a strategic communications programme to deliver messages and information to key target audiences in order to build support among decision-makers and the public for a new global agreement that will effectively address climate change.
Public awareness-raising activities carried out by the UN system and the UN Communications Group include:
• “UNite to combat climate change” — a UN-wide campaign to promote an inclusive, comprehensive and ratifiable deal in Copenhagen.
• Climate Neutral Network (CN Net)—Online tool for outreach, networking, and awareness-raising on climate change; aims to catalyze an international response to global warming. Participants register; submit their climate neutral strategies; and share best practices. Target groups are governments (national, local) and the business sector
• Global UN branding and advertising campaign on climate change in cooperation with the International Advertising Association (IAA)
• Effective media training for promoting coverage of climate change and the UNFCCC negotiations in developing countries
• Reinforced work to include climate change in education for sustainable development • Maintaining a central portal/Gateway connecting to all UN system entities active on climate change (www.un.org/climatechange) and cooperating with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) for Climate-L.org (www.climate-l.org).