SOURCE: University of Waterloo

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June 05, 2015 12:26 ET

Waterloo Leads Nation in Largest-Ever Global Climate Conversation

WATERLOO, ON--(Marketwired - June 05, 2015) - For 24 hours this Saturday, thousands of citizens from more than 80 countries will come together to discuss issues related to climate change and energy, as part of the World Wide Views project. 100 local citizens representing the diversity of our country have been selected to act as Canada's voice in the ambitious project.

The World Wide Views project is the largest-ever global consultation on climate and energy. Beginning at dawn in the Pacific Islands and ending at dusk on the West Coast of the United States, participants will answer identical questions on how climate change relates to them.

The results will be translated and given to policy makers, businesses, and civic leaders to give them unique insight on key climate issues. The results will also be presented at the United Nations COP21 climate change negotiations in Paris later this year.

"Climate change affects people,” said David McLaughlin, strategic advisor on sustainability in the Faculty of Environment. “It is important we hear from people in Canada and other countries about acting on climate change and put that in front of world leaders.”

Professor Vanessa Schweizer, from the University of Waterloo's Department of Knowledge Integration organized the Region of Waterloo's participation in the event.

"Signatories to the UNFCCC, including Canada, have a duty to facilitate public participation in addressing climate change. However, all too often, the voices of regular people -- the people most affected -- are left out of discussion on climate change," said Schweizer. "This is an opportunity for our community to join a global citizen consultation, and for Canadian citizens to have their views considered at the highest level of climate negotiations."

The event received support from the Balsillie School of International Affairs and a number of University of Waterloo groups, including the Faculty of Environment, the Waterloo Chair in Science and Society, the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, Department of Knowledge Integration, and the Water Institute.

Professor Schweizer is an expert on climate change and collective decision-making. She is available to discuss The World Wide Views on Climate and Energy with members of the media.

The event takes place on Saturday, June 6th at Knox Church in Waterloo, Ontario. Guests are welcome to visit and observe the event proceedings between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m., or 12:30 and 1:30p.m. The results will be published in real time as citizens vote around the world. Visit the World Wide Views on Climate and Energy website to compare results between countries, regions.

About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. A globally focused institution, celebrated as Canada's most innovative university for 23 consecutive years, Waterloo is home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit

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