Pretoria, 14 February - Celebrities and youth activists met with UN officials in New York, governments and civil society to launch Mission 1.5, a campaign that aims to bridge the gap between people and governments on ambitious climate action.
Mission 1.5 aims to give 20 million people around the world the opportunity to have their say on ways to limit climate change that they want to see adopted by government leaders. The campaign, led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), hopes to address the disconnect between citizens and governments that has seen a groundswell of public opinion by citizens around the world, including school strikes and mass protests.
The campaign is built around an internet and mobile-based video game, developed by UNDP alongside experts in game development, climate science and public polling, in which players take on the role of climate policymakers and make decisions to try to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
After the game, players are asked to vote on key climate actions they want to see adopted. This data will be analysed and delivered to governments, who often lack access to reliable information on public opinion on climate action.
The previous biggest international survey of public opinion on climate change canvassed 10,000 people across 76 countries, and was conducted ahead of the 2015 Paris climate talks.
The Mission 1.5 game is available at https://mission1point5.org/index.html and can be played by people in every country in the world.
UNDP South Africa has been working with the Government of South Africa to curb the effects of climate change. Some of these efforts include channeling technical assistance through two phases of support associated with the South African Wind Energy Project (SAWEP), with resources mobilised from the Global Environment Facility. A recent initiative is that in Upper Blinkwater in the Eastern Cape – a community-owned infrastructure pilot that will generate 100kW off-grid energy and pump water at the same time.
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, said: "Together with partners from across the private and public sectors, we have the ability with this campaign to connect millions of people with their governments in an innovative two-way discussion on solutions to the climate crisis, and increase ambition ahead of the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow later this year” when speaking at the launch yesterday.
“UNDP South Africa is ready to work with the Governments, partners and people of South Africa to scale up climate action through efforts to address climate change-poverty-unemployment nexuses” said Dr Ayodele Odusola, Resident Representative, UNDP South Africa. It in line with this that UNDP South Africa is supporting youth entrepreneurs in electronic waste management and biodiesel ventures, among others. “It is through this and other such initiatives that we are keeping the promise to the Government of South Africa and to the citizens of this country to curb the effects of climate change” said Janice Golding, Programme Manager for Climate Change and Greening South Africa’s Economy, UNDP in South Africa. UNDP is excited to be part of this global initiative.
About Mission 1.5
Mission 1.5 was developed by UNDP and partners as an online platform that educates people on climate action and connects them with their governments and policymakers. The campaign is called Mission 1.5 because we must act now to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
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