Newsletter 7, Australia

World Wide Views at Copenhagen!

Seasons greetings to everyone who’s been following World Wide Views Australia and globally! This is the last newsletter for 2009, and we’re wrapping up everything that has happened since the reports on the proceedings were released here and in Denmark.

Friday 18 Dec was the final day of the COP15 negotiations in Copenhagen. It was the biggest UN conference ever held, with over 15,000 delegates and many more non-government organisations, and civil society representatives. The main conference took place in the Bella Centre, an enormous complex on the outskirts of Copenhagen. After two weeks of intense negotiations, the Conference of the Parties released a "Copenhagen Accord". The full official text is available on the UNFCCC website. (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

Where were Global citizens’ views represented?

The World Wide Views project was represented at many levels in these historic talks.

  • To each country’s negotiator or representatives by their local organisers
  • At a dedicated side event at the Bella Centre, for official delegates, including high level- political representatives on December 10
  • At “Klimaforum”, the parallel people’s summit on climate in Copenhagen on December 9
  • At the UTS /UNSW Booth in the Bella exhibition centre
  • Presented by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore at the Mayor’s Summit, attended by more than 80 high profile Mayors from around the world

How news about World Wide Views has spread in Australia

Since November, the World Wide Views organising team held key meetings with three representatives of the Australian Government Department of Climate Change, including a member of the Copenhagen negotiating team; the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore; the Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne; the adviser on climate change to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese; and an adviser to the then Federal Opposition Spokesman on Emissions Trading, Andrew Robb. The response from most of these meetings was very encouraging. Clover Moore has since put out a media release about the results, urging more action here in Australia on the issue of climate change. Ms Moore then went on to present the results of the World Wide Views consultation at the Mayors Summit, and has kept keeping a Copenhagen Diary on the web at: The communiqué from the summit has been released, also available at Clover Moore's site: We also sent copies of the World Wide Views Australia report to every Senate representative, Federal Member of Parliament and many State Ministers MPs.

In Australia, the recent debates over a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, plus many and varied citizens’ movements have put the issues of climate very much on the front page. In the COP15 talks Australia operated as a “friend of the Chair” which was a position nominated by the Danish President to help countries reach agreement in the negotiations. By now you’ve probably read something about the outcomes from Copenhagen. It’s disappointing to have to conclude that the agreement reached in this round of talks does not yet represent citizens’ views as expressed through World Wide Views. However this is not the end of the story. Negotiations will continue over the coming years and the voice of global citizens expressed through World Wide Views and other vehicles can only grow in relevance and importance. Australia's involvement in World Wide Views still matters - the group here joined with over 4,000 others through World Wide Views plus many thousands more in caring about these negotiations. From all reports, the high level of concern came through loud and clear in Copenhagen and the final statements from leaders like US President Obama and Australian PM Kevin Rudd clearly acknowledge there is a lot more to do.

We are tracking all the places where World Wide Views is mentioned specifically in the news. If you have had a local paper print your story and it is not on the list on this site, it means we don’t know about it. Please email us a copy to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it !

Photos from Copenhagen

A representative of UTS was at the summit, and sent back photos of talks and the exhibition stand. Click to go to the photo page.

Still want more info?

We followed the Copenhagen negotiations with keen interest, but couldn’t cover all the ins and outs of the negotiating process here. A good place for overview information is the ABC - there is a feature page on their website all about the latest developments in climate change. Sarah Clarke who interviewed some Australian participants was over in Copenhagen to send back reports on progress.

ABC News Feature Page

Official COP15 website (link)

Participants spread the word

Several people who came to the event in Sydney have since gone on to speak to their local papers, or spread the word in other ways. We’ve heard of two participants, Matthew and Christine, who have had other encounters in their communities. If you’ve got something to tell us, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Matthew from Sydney spoke to a meeting of around 200 students on November 17, to explain how climate change was linked to his faith. His talk followed three women speakers from Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths, speaking on women, religion and peace. Being the only man on the panel, Matthew’s talk was more about how guardianship of the planet is an issue for lasting peace. His words promoted thoughtful questions from these final year school students about environmental responsibility and international aid which all the speakers had something to say about. A recurring theme was dialogue and breaking down the sense of ‘the other’ as a step towards compassion, and peace. From this point of view interfaith talks and a deliberative dialogue like World Wide Views have something in common – they seek to give everyone a say – to break down barriers between us. This was Matthew’s first public speaking experience but he was inspired by the experience of World Wide Views and he wanted to say his piece when invited. Jade Herriman from the organising team went along and said he did a great job. The students took every copy of the report home and the organisers didn’t have to do their usual clean up!

Christine from Ocean Grove contacted us to let us know that councillor John Doull from The City of Greater Geelong was going to Copenhagen t oattend the Mayors Summit, along with Clover Moore. Turns out, he had seen her photo in the Ocean Grove Echo, and has clipped it out to make sure he got in touch. They had a meeting over coffee and Christine was able to fill him in on the process, the results and also some web sites to follow up on. Christine reports that John was very interested in the World Wide Views project and the results. He also told her that local governments are concerned that Kyoto did not include considerations at the local government level, so there is an international move to rectify that. John plans to come back and share his experiences of Copenhagen, and continue the work on climate change in the local area.