The World Wide Views on Climate and Energy were effective global citizens’ consultations to collect and deliver opinions of about 10,000 global citizens for 97 debates from 76 countries to the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) on critical climate change and energy transition
Problems and Purpose
The relevant public and global problems are climate change and energy transition. The purpose of the global citizens’ consultations in the World Wide Views on Climate and Energy in June 2015 was to collect and deliver global citizens’ views on how to deal politically with the climate change and energy transition to global policymakers at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in December 2015.
Background History and Context
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat developed a framework for “...stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” in 1994.
The UNFCCC secretariat has organized the Conference of Parties (COP) since 1995. The COP is a global convention, which adopted the above framework developed by the UNFCCC secretariat. The COP participant parties review how the convention was implemented and made decisions to ensure successful execution of the convention.
The Danish Board of Technology Foundation started the World Wide Views method to fill in the gap between global policymakers and citizens regarding global issues in 2009.
The Danish Board of Technology Foundation is the chief organizer, and the foundation which coordinates the World Wide Views with the World Wide Views Alliance.
World Wide Views on Global Warming was held in 2009, and World Wide Views on Biodiversity was held in 2012.
There are two case studies about previous World Wide Views on Participedia.
- “World Wide Views Citizen Participation Project on Global Warming” 
- "World Wide Views’ Global Consultation on Biodiversity,” 
World Wide Views on Global Warming contributed to COP15, and World Wide Views on Biodiversity contributed to COP11.
In 2015, World Wide Views on Climate and Energy contributed to COP21.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The Danish Board of Technology Foundation and the World Wide Views Alliance coordinated the World Wide Views debates with about 10,000 citizens in 76 countries on June 6, 2015.
The World Wide Views Alliance (partner organizations) pays the fees for debates by themselves or co-finances.
The UNFCCC secretariat co-initiated the World Wide Views on Climate and Energy.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Partner Organizations Recruitment and Selection
Partner organizations are responsible for conducting each World Wide Views debate in each country. To become partners of the World View Views, the organizations must meet four conditions: (1) previous experiences in citizens’ participation methods; (2) non-biased organization regarding climate change and energy transition; (3) able to keep the common guidelines; (4) financing to hold the debate.
The partner organizations in the World Wide Views Alliance were invited by World Wide Views to hold each debate. For World Wide Views on Climate and Change, 106 partners collaborated and held 97 debates in 76 countries.
There were 61 countries, especially developing counties, who received financial support from “Ségolène Royal, the French Minister of Ecology, and Sustainable Development and Energy” to conduct the conventions.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
The World Wide Views Alliance selected about 100 citizens for 97 debates in 76 countries by following the guidelines of the World Wide Views. Those citizens were randomly selected based upon demographic diversity such as “age, gender, occupation, education, geographical zone of residency, and membership of environmental organizations."
Partners selected participants by following the guidelines listed above. However, most partners did not find 100 citizens for each debate. Therefore, the average number of participants in each debate was 89 citizens. Some partners recruited citizens from larger geographical area, but other partners recruited citizens from smaller geographical area to lower the cost. The sample size of World Wide Views was large, therefore, the results from the debates are reliable.
Methods and Tools Used
The Danish Board of Technology Foundation established the “Voting Conference,” which includes “Deliberative Polling” designed by James Fishkin and “Citizens Summit” and advanced by America Speaks.
Deliberative polling involves comparing a pre-poll and post-poll given to the randomly selected citizens before and after they participated in one of the sites holding the discussions. The results reflected the conclusions that a well-informed and more involved group of citizens would hold. The method used was the Internet, which allowed the participants to vote and the results were immediately available online. These multi-site events brought together the citizens, public officials and the organizations involved in the issue. The organizers of the events ensured that the background of the participants was diverse. The experts and officials supported the events by answering questions and facilitating the discussion of the issues.
A web tool was prepared for data collection, results confirmation, and results comparison of each convention. The information was collected instantly and results were available online. The tool enabled statistics from the various countries and international groups to be easily compared. All original data can be easily downloaded from the web tool.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
Group facilitators were trained before the events in order to ensure that they would be unbiased when leading the discussion.
Participants received booklets about “objective scientific data on climate change” and met two weeks prior to the meeting date. The participants met face-to-face in a citizens’ assembly format. In the meeting, 100 citizens were separated into 15 groups (6-7 persons per group). They discussed five themes and 29 questions related to climate and energy issues with peer facilitators at each table. The five themes were “Importance of tackling climate change, Tools to tackle climate change, United Nations negotiations and national commitments, Fairness and distribution of efforts, and Making and Keeping climate promises.” For each theme, citizens discussed questions related to the topic for 50 minutes and then voted on their final opinions against the questions. (See voting method in Methods and Tool Used section.) The purpose of this process was to enable citizens to voice their views about climate and energy.
The participants in each national group of about 100 were not able to observe the discussions of other groups; however, they did have immediate voting results from other national group.
In the United States, the participants were located in four different states, Arizona, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Colorado with about 18 and above citizens in each location.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
All voting results of about 10,000 citizens, 97 debates in 76 countries were collected and published on the website of World Wide Views. Also, the results were shared with the United Nations Climate Change and each country’s governments. The results served as a global policy making reference for the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) and helped to resolve climate change issues in 197 countries.
The purpose of World Wide Views was achieved because the citizens’ voices reached the COP21. They were successful in collecting and delivering the opinions of the citizens from 76 countries. The results are available on the Internet for interested parties, including each government who attended the COP21.
In the report, 79% of global citizens think their countries should decrease greenhouse gases. And 97% of global citizens want a global agreement, which includes a long-term goal for the zero emission of greenhouse gases by 2100. The results from the World Wide Views events had a positive effect on the policy created at the COP21. The voices reached the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21), and 184 countries out of 197 countries signed the Paris Agreement. The signed Agreement, reflects the participating countries promise to decrease greenhouse gases and to try to limit global temperature rise less than two degrees Celsius by 2100 compared with preindustrial time.
After the event, participants in Japan acknowledged the importance of understanding the climate change issue. They realized that if they do not understand the issues, they cannot discuss the problems and take actions to resolve the issues. They also learned that environmental issues can be resolved.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
A report from the results on World Wide Views on Climate and Energy in 2015 provides a clear analysis of the success of this process.
The World Wide Views on Climate and Energy worked well because the voices of citizens across the world reached the COP21. The Paris Agreement is living proof of 184 countries promise to decrease greenhouse gases. Global citizens worked together to improve the climate change and energy transition issues.
Most partners could not find 100 citizens for each debates, so it seems necessary to update common guidelines and to specify how to collect 100 citizens in each country. Also 61 out of 106 partners were getting financial support to conduct the World Wide Views debates (See Partner Organizations Recruitment and Selection) (World Wide Views on Climate and Energy, 2015a, p. 12). To expand and improve the event, it also seems necessary to give partners more financial support from the organizer, the Danish Board of Technology Foundation.
Participants in Japan were satisfied with the event. (See Influence, Outcomes, and Effects section.)
 World Wide Views. (2015a). The World Wide Views Alliance. The World Wide Views Alliance. Retrieved from http://wwviews.org/the-world-wide-views-alliance/
 Climate Action. (2015). ABOUT. Find out more about COP21. Retrieved from http://www.cop21paris.org/about/cop21/
 World Wide Views on Climate and Energy. (2015a). World Wide Views on Climate and Energy.
FROM THE WORLD’S CITIZENS TO THE CLIMATE AND ENERGY POLICYMAKERS AND STAKEHOLDERS. Retrieved from http://climateandenergy.wwviews.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/WWviews-Result- Report_english_low.pdf
 World Wide Views. (2015b). NATIONAL AND REGIONAL WWVIEWS PARTNERS. List of countries, which have participated in World Wide Views projects. Retrieved from http://wwviews.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/wwviews_country_list_2009-2012- 2015.pdf
 Participedia Contributors. (2018a). CASE. World Wide Views Citizen Participation Project on Global Warming. Retrieved from https://participedia.xyz/case/5411
 Participedia Contributors. (2018b). CASE. World Wide Views’ Global Consultation on Biodiversity. Retrieved from https://participedia.xyz/case/5110
 Participedia Contributors. (2018c). ORGANIZATION. The Danish Board of Technology Foundation. Retrieved from https://participedia.xyz/organization/4851
 Participedia Contributors. (2018d). ORGANIZATION. The World Wide Views Alliance. Retrieved from https://participedia.xyz/organization/709
 World Wide Views on Climate and Energy. (2015b). THE METHOD. Retrieved from http://climateandenergy.wwviews.org/the-method/
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 Participedia Contributors. (2018f). METHOD. Deliberative Polling. Retrieved from https://participedia.xyz/method/147
 Participedia Contributors. (2018g). METHOD. Citizens’ Summit. Retrieved from https://participedia.xyz/method/5086
 Fukuda H. (2015). Report - Other Reports -. World Citizens’ Conference “Climate Change and Energy” Implementation Report. Retrieved from https://scienceportal.jst.go.jp/reports/other/20150703_01.html [Japanese]
 Arizona State University. (n.d.). World Wide Views on Climate and Energy. What is it? Retrieved from https://cspo.org/research/wwviews-climate-and-energy/
 United Nations Climate Change. (2015). World Wide Views. New York Press Release. Retrieved from https://unfccc.int/news/world-wide-views-new-york-press-release
 United Nations Climate Change. (2016a). Paris Agreement. Status of Ratification. Retrieved from https://unfccc.int/process/the-paris-agreement/status-of-ratification
 United Nations Climate Change. (2016b). The Paris Agreement. Paris Agreement: essential elements. Retrieved from https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/10a01.pdf#page=2
 Wynn, G., Bedsted, B., Gram, S. & Clemmensen, A. H. (2015). WORLD WIDE VIEWS ON Climate and Energy. Information booklet May 2015. Retrieved from http://climateandenergy.wwviews.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/wwv-booklet- english.pdf
The original submission of this case entry was written by Reiko Muranaka, a Master of Public Service candidate at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. The views expressed in the current version are those of the authors, editors, or cited sources, and are not necessarily those of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.