14 Sept, 2009. One hundred Australians to talk climate change in Sydney with over 4,000 others around the world

On 25 and 26 September, around 100 Australians will come together in Sydney for talks of global significance in the quest for answers to climate change.

The group, selected randomly to reflect the diversity of the Australian population, will be taking part in an event called “World Wide Views on Global Warming”, being run in Australia by the University of Technology, Sydney.

The event is a world-first, bringing together groups of around 100 citizens in 39 countries to answer the same questions. World Wide Views on Global Warming was kicked off by the Danish government, who will host the vital UN Climate talks in Copenhagen in December.

The “World Wide Views” event occurs two months before the UN talks, so that ordinary people can have a say on what we should do to address such a huge, global challenge.

The Australian participants will tackle big questions directly relevant to those faced by climate negotiators. Issues discussed on the day will include long-term goals and urgency, responsibility for dealing with greenhouse gas emissions and the economics of dealing with climate change.

Susan Ruelcke, who works in aged care in Redland Bay, Queensland, says "To know that this is a world-wide thing that all the other countries that are getting involved in it, it's just amazing, if the little people can be heard, it's better. You can't just be selfish about your own generation you've got to think about generations to come."

Australia and New Zealand will be the first in the world to share their results. The citizens' views and recommendations will be fed into a central website, creating a global virtual tally room.

Those who agreed to come to Sydney for this event don’t have to know a lot about climate change; they will get the same information as everyone else. On the day, people will discuss in groups and vote on some of the world’s most pressing questions.

The event is being organised by the University’s Institute for Sustainable Futures. Director, Professor Stuart White, says “The decisions made by climate negotiators could affect Australians from coast to coast, so we think it’s important that they get to have a say. World Wide Views on Global Warming is a truly international forum, a bit like the huge challenge of the UN talks. This project is an exciting collaboration with the rest of the world.”

Australian Participant Statistics:

32 from NSW

8 from South Australia

27 from Victoria

4 from Tasmania

24 from Queensland

3 from Australian Capital Territory

11 from Western Australia

1 from Northern Territory

World Wide Views on Global Warming participants in their own words

Andrew Carter, from Kapunda in SA says "I've always taken notice of the different seasons and how they've changed since I was a kid. I'd like to hear other people's opinions and get a broader view of what the scientists are thinking, and get the extra knowledge of what other people are thinking, and learn more"

Chris Cassar, a property developer from Elwood, Victoria, says "You see a lot about global warming in the media and it's hard to know what you can do, and this is one small way I could help."

Jonathan Gaskell, a landscape gardener from Perth, says "Anyone else would have done the same thing if asked to. I'm just an average Aussie person and I'll get my views in."

CONTACTS: for more information or interviews with participants and organisers

Rebecca Short: 0415 156 409 / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



FRI 25 SEPT 2.00 pm – 5.30 pm

SATURDAY 26 SEPT - 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Sydney CBD, near Darling Harbour

**Journalists or crew please register to attend on the day**


The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is the Australian WWViews partner, responsible for running the Australian WWViews event, with the support of other project sponsors PriceWaterhouseCoopers, NAB, WWF and the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment.