International Symposium Promotes Action for Climate Empowerment
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Signatories to the Burgenland Declaration declared their commitment to make ACE fundamental in the planning and actions of governments, organizations, agencies, companies or personal or public enterprises, and to support and encourage others to do the same.

Paris Agreement Article 12 underscores the importance of ACE and its six elements, namely education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation for enhancing actions under the Agreement.

The Burgenland Declaration will be presented at a high-level event on ACE during the Santiago Climate Change Conference.

17 October 2019: Representatives of national, regional and local governments, diplomats, youth, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and public and private sector CEOs have signed a declaration to enhance Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) to help achieve the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Paris Agreement Article 12 underscores the importance of ACE and its six elements, namely education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation for enhancing actions under the Agreement. According to a UNFCCC press release, countries have been slow to carry out their ACE, with most still lacking an ACE focal point or strategy.

The Burgenland Declaration on ACE was signed during an International Symposium and High-level event on ACE, convened by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, in cooperation with the UNFCCC Secretariat from 13-14 October, in Pamhagen in the Austrian state of Burgenland. Signatories to the Burgenland Declaration agreed on the importance of the six elements of ACE  for implementation of the Paris Agreement, and declared their commitment to make ACE fundamental in the planning and actions of governments, organizations, agencies, companies or personal or public enterprises, and to support and encourage others to do the same.

The Burgenland Declaration is the kick-off of a global initiative for catalyzing wider engagement in the ACE agenda.

The symposium aimed to catalyze wider engagement in and support for ACE implementation, and highlighted the need to mobilize funding at the local, national and international levels to support the ACE agenda.

While highlighting recent efforts by youth, Talieh Wögerbauer, Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism and ACE Ambassador, said young people cannot bear the brunt of responsibility, and emphasized the “fundamental importance of multilateralism,” the private sector as a climate ally and the responsibility of adults. She said the Burgenland Declaration is the “kick-off” of a global initiative for catalyzing wider engagement in and support for implementation of Article 12 and the ACE agenda and its six elements.

Martin Frick, UNFCCC, highlighted the importance of empowering people for implementation of the Paris Agreement, educating the public on climate change, and mobilizing funding in support of ACE.

The Burgenland Declaration will be presented at a high-level event on ACE during the Santiago Climate Change Conference. Parties are also expected to adopt terms of reference (ToR) for the review of the Doha work programme on UNFCCC Article 6 (cooperative approaches), with the aim of taking stock of ACE implementation and identifying further ACE actions for adoption at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference in 2020. [UNFCCC News Story] [Burgenland Declaration on ACE] [Symposium Concept Note] [UNFCCC Event Webpage


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