Sir David Attenborough, one of the world’s most famous naturalists, will bring the voice of millions of citizens to the UN Climate Change Conference later this year as part of a new UN campaign, the People’s Seat.
The initiative will allow people from around the world to watch and have their voices heard during the critical climate summit COP24, held in Poland from 2-14 December. To launch the campaign, Sir David Attenborough and environmental campaigner Kathy Jetnil-Kijiñer are calling on people to share their experiences and opinions on climate change using the hashtag #TakeYourSeat. These messages will then help shape the People’s Seat Address Sir David gives to the assembly on 3 December.
WPP agencies Grey, Town Productions, Kantar TNS & Lightspeed, Finsbury, BCW, The Social Partners and MediaCom have worked in partnership with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI), the United Nations Office at Geneva, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Facebook to develop the multifaceted campaign, with support from Circle AI, Whalar, ITB and Getty Images.
Speaking about the project, Sir David Attenborough said: “We all know climate change is a global problem – and that it requires a global solution. This is an opportunity for people from across the globe, regardless of their nationality or circumstances, to be part of most important discussion of this century: the unprecedented action needed to reach the Paris Agreement targets.
“I encourage everyone to take their seat and to add their voice so that the People’s Seat Address truly represents a mix of voices from across the world.”
Alison Smale, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, said: “People need to be empowered in their own lives to be the change that we need for a sustainable world. We welcome the use of cutting-edge technology to help everyone around the world reduce emissions through the Actnow.bot. With this initiative, we are calling on citizens to take action in ways that are feasible, fresh and have an impact.”
The initiative was first put forward by Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). He said: “The challenge to humanity that climate change represents is of such epic proportions that only through collective global action will we have a chance to combat it successfully. Every single human being on our severely stressed planet has to take responsibility.
“If we don’t, we all fail with catastrophic consequences. The People’s Seat initiative provides the impulse for seriously ramping up global solidarity, especially among the young who, at the end of the day, are the ones who will have to deal with the mess we have left them with.”