2022 Earth Day Citizens’ Forum celebrates volunteer advocacy, calls for defending civic space

2022 Earth Day Citizens’ Forum celebrates volunteer advocacy, calls for defending civic space

In 2022, we now face a moment of existential choice: We must act everywhere, with all deliberate speed, to reduce climate risk and build resilience, or we will lose our chance for a climate resilient future. Active, informed, participatory civics must be part of our climate emergency response—to ensure transformational policies are fair, attuned to local experience, and politically sustainable.

The 2022 Earth Day Citizens’ Forum will feature Citizens’ Climate volunteer field reports from around the world and call for defending the civic space.

Join us on Thursday, April 21 at 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC | 14:00 WAT | 15:00 CEST | 18:30 IST | 21:00 PHST | 22:00 JST for a 90-minute program focused on climate-related civics to build political will for a livable future.

We are proud to welcome Olha Boiko, coordinator of the Climate Action Network for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (CAN-EECCA). Her message to climate allies, observing how civil society and community engagement made it possible for Ukrainians to stand up together against an illegal war:

“Build civil society in your countries like your lives depend on it.”

Both developed and developing democracies are seeing civil society and the right to fact-based reporting come under attack, and we have seen how disinformation undermines a society’s ability to deal effectively with crisis. Attacks on civil society and the right to know have delayed action on climate change, muddied the waters of pandemic response, and created real and direct security risks.

50 years after the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and the Stockholm Declaration, the IPCC is warning us there is no more time to waste in acting to prevent unmanageable climate emergency:

  • Working Group I told us last August that only in the most ambitious climate action scenario, with universal, persistent, and intensifying climate decarbonization everywhere, can we limit global heating to 1.5ºC or lower.
  • Working Group II told us in its report on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, that we have lost the most efficient climate resilient development pathways, due to inaction, and the window for successful climate resilient development is rapidly closing.
  • Working Group III has now reported that we are not eliminating global heating pollution rapidly enough to avoid a state of pervasive, persistent climate emergency. This is our moment of choice.

The technological, policy, and financial resources exist now to allow us to meet this great global challenge, just in time. We need mitigation actions, aligned with best-case human development outcomes, to accelerate immediately. And we need to invest in nature, build adaptive capacity, and decentralize financial flows, while restoring ecosystems and watersheds, and reducing the drivers of poverty, hunger, and displacement.

In this year’s Forum we will:

  • Highlight examples of volunteer civic leadership;
  • Share engagement strategies that anyone can use;
  • Review efforts by civil society advocates to secure new protections and safeguards;
  • Explore opportunities for expanding citizen participation in the UNFCCC process.

The Earth Day Citizens’ Forum will provide a background of peer-sharing, focused learning, and global policy-making context for the first CCI Week of Action, June 13-17. The Week of Action will be a global, hybrid event, offering volunteers the opportunity to:

  • Schedule direct policy discussions with public officials;
  • Spread their message in local media;
  • Organize, if they choose, educational meetings in their communities;
  • Connect with trusted leaders, to build political will locally;
  • Engage in focused trainings to develop the critical skills of volunteer policy advocates and organizers.

Register here

If you are a member of the press, and would like to inquire further or join our Media Roundtable on Friday, April 22, please reach out to press@citizensclimateintl.org