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Education and Participation in the field of Climate Protection A comparison between six countries.
1. Introduction
Since climate change appeared on the political agenda, there has been a lot of discussion around the world as to how to curb global warming, especially among politicians, scientists and environmental groups. The 1992 United Nations (UN) Conference in Rio de Janeiro and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) represent important milestones in the global effort to stop global warming. The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is the ″stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system″ (UNFCC, Article 2). To achieve this, Conferences of the Parties (COPs) were established to support the implementation of measures to prevent and adapt to climate change, and thus ensure the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is achieved (Holz 2010). Since the publication of the 4th progress report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007, it has become the general scientific and political consensus in most countries that global warming is happening and that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are ″very likely″ to be the major driving force of this process (IPCC 2007, 39, Mueller et al. 2007, 163). Climate protection measures have mainly focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (in particular CO2) through technical innovations and changes in energy production, transportation and industry, which are essential, but are not sufficient to reach the objectives as stand-alone measures. It is still necessary to invent and implement intelligent climate protection measures, accompanied by a change in individuals' lifestyle and behaviour. Therefore, citizens have to be made aware of climate change and become involved in stopping global warming. The changes that are required will affect the everyday lives of the whole population. Therefore, it is important that people are aware of the causes and consequences of climate change and are given the opportunity to be involved in decisions on how to react to it appropriately. As climate change is an issue that has and will impact the lives of everyone on this planet especially in the future, young people in particular have to be made aware. They should be given the opportunity to participate in decision making. Education and the involvement of citizens should be given a key role in global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The UNFCCC has taken this into consideration in Article 6, calling on national governments to promote education and training, public access to information and public participation in the field of climate protection. The impetus to involve citizens and to enable young people to become drivers of the transition to a more climate friendly society is one of its key objectives (UNFCCC, Art. 6). Although the UNFCCC was signed in 1992, it took a further 10 years before, in 2002, the New Delhi Programme gave a new dynamic to climate change education (education for sustainable development) and public participation in climate-related policy sectors. Both of these fields of interest became especially vibrant following interaction with already established structures.
A further decade has passed since the New Delhi Programme was implemented, requiring a review of the achievement of the ambitious goals in Article 6 of the UNFCCC and the New Delhi Programme. This will ascertain whether climate change education and public participation in climate-related issues have been really established satisfactorily. Moreover, questions arise as to how climate change education and participation in climate-related issues function in practice. This study tries to answer these questions. The aim here is not to provide a comprehensive, global overview of climate change education and public participation. Instead, it provides insights into the current state of research around the world and the actual work of climate change educators and practitioners in the field of public participation. The study aims to highlight experts' and young peoples' experience of climate change education and participation in climate-related issues in selected European countries and the USA. Literature research was carried out together with qualitative interviews with experts and young people in Austria, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA, which were conducted between summer 2012 and spring 2013. The aim was to identify good practice and shortcomings as well as barriers to effective climate change education and public participation in this field. Hence, the study addressed the following research questions: What are the general attitudes of citizens and politicians towards climate change and climate protection in the selected countries? How have the topics of climate protection and climate change been integrated into educational programmes? Which methods are used in teaching about climate change? How can people participate in climate-related issues in the selected countries? How is youth participation taken into consideration in the fields of climate change and climate protection? Which methods and forms of media are used to enable and promote participation in climate protection issues?
What are the deficits and unused opportunities regarding public participation processes in climate-related issues and climate change education in the individual countricountries?
First, the terms used in this study are comprehensively defined and an overview of the relevant literature and the current state of international research is given. The findings from the qualitative survey are then presented, followed by the study's international conclusions in the final section of this report.
Inhaltsverzeichnis :
1. Introduction ... 5
2. Study design .... 7
3. Definition of terms and insights into literature and state of research... 8
3.1 Climate Change Education ... 8
3.2 Participation in climate-related issues .... 12
3.3 Youth participation .... 15
4. Research Findings....18
4.1 General attitude towards climate change and climate protection ... 18
4.2 Climate Change Education in the investigated countries.... 22
4.3 Opportunities for public participation in climate-related issues ... 29
4.4 Opportunities for participation in climate related issues targeted at young people ...34
5. Cross-national Conclusion.. 40
References .... 44
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