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Reports & guides | 12 November 2022

Is ACE a legal obligation?

What are the legal obligations of governments – not just under Article 12 of the Paris Agreement but international, regional and national laws – to implement the six areas of the UN’s Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE): education, training, public awareness, public participation, access to information and international cooperation on climate change?

This report takes a deep dive into legal frameworks that could be used to compel governments to carry out public engagement activities. Why does this matter? It is difficult to compel governments to act if there are no consequences for inaction.

The legal analysis in this report was conducted and written by global law firm DLA Piper. Climate Outreach provided editorial support and wrote the executive summary.

The report was launched at COP27 in Egypt during a press conference. We also co-hosted the COP27 Presidency event  for ACE & Civil Society Day.

Governments have a duty to educate their citizens on climate change, involve them in policymaking, and ensure they have all the necessary information. But when COPs take place, the headline news is dominated by countries’ commitments to reducing carbon emissions and high-profile pledges on climate action.

There is very rarely any talk of public engagement – how countries plan to communicate with people about the effects of climate change and explain what they can do to help. People are at the heart of addressing climate change: it is vital they are engaged with meaningfully.

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