Action Taken on Climate Change: previously ignored, has soared to the top of people’s priorities around the world.



In 2015, 10 million people raised their voices on what mattered to them, their families and their communities in the largest global consultation ever undertaken by the UN. Out of 16 priority areas, Climate Action ranked dead last. 2 years later, Climate Action has soared to one of the top citizen priorities across the globe.

Past MY World 2015 data from showing that action taken on climate change was previously ranked last

The MY World survey was the driving force behind this consultation, which shaped the Sustainable Development Goals -the universal to-do list to end poverty, address inequalities and tackle climate change by 2030. This global survey, led by the United Nations and partners, aims to invite everyone to share their views with world leaders, to build dialogue between government and citizens and influence decision-making.

According to the latest data of the global survey, ‘Action on Climate Change’ is either the top priority or one of the 4 greatest global challenges for people around the Globe. This is a big shift in people’s perception and an important message for everyone: governments, the UN, development activists and practitioners, and change agents.

Screenshot showing the current ranking of climate action on

The questions asked are very personal. “What is most important for you and your family?”. It’s increasingly clear that people recognize that climate change is becoming an important issue for them in their daily lives.

Every step taken for Climate Action is a step further in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The adoption of both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement demonstrate the political will needed to end poverty and human suffering, while also protecting the environment that we and future generations depend upon for our for our health and prosperity. These agendas are closely interlinked and many of the actions taken to address the Goals are also helping people to fight and adapt to climate change.

While governments have committed to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, all people can be part of this movement to make it a reality. Now is the moment for nations, private sector and organisations to listen to citizens and make the necessary changes to address these challenges.

*This is not a representative survey.

About MY World 2030

MY World is the UN survey that asks citizens if they are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals, which six of the 17 Global Goals are of immediate concern to them and if the situation of these has got better, stayed the same or got worse over the past 12 months.

Survey results and data visualizations can be viewed at

About the UN SDG Action Campaign

The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General mandated to support the UN system-wide and the Member States on advocacy and public engagement in the SDG implementation.

With a proven track record on innovative and impactful engagement techniques since 2002, the UN SDG Action Campaign works to create awareness about the Agenda 2030, empower and inspire people across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while generating political will, to make the Goals attainable by 2030. The Global Campaign Center in Bonn is a strategic hub to deliver the UN SDG Action Campaign’s mandate to inspire people’s action on the Sustainable Development Goals. The Global Campaign Center is central to the UN’s strategy of providing real-time cutting-edge advocacy support, big data expertise and analytics to Member States and partners across the globe.

For more information or interview please contact:

Data for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States


The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) took place this month from 1 – 4 September, in Apui, Samoa. The overarching theme of the conference was ‘The sustainable development of small island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships’. Six multi-stakeholder partnership dialogues were held in parallel to the plenary meetings. The overall objective of the conference was to assess progress to date, seek renewed political commitment for action, identify new emerging challenges and opportunities for the sustainable development of SIDS, and identify priorities for the sustainable development of SIDS to be considered in the elaboration of the post-2015 UN development agenda. In this context, MY World has published a report with a focus on data from SIDS, including MY World survey data and regional consultation data sets reposited on the World We Want website:

Please feel free to read our report by following this link.

SIDS Priorities

SIDS Priorities

Climate and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

jsachs“Without tackling climate change, we will not succeed in eradicating extreme poverty.” – (UN High Level Panel Report)

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on the MDG’s to Ban Ki Moon and an MDG Advocate.  Sachs has been advocating for greater visibility of climate change in the post-2015 agenda. Sachs recently took part in a discussion on climate change in the post-2015 development agenda at a workshop held in New York by the UN Millennium Campaign, CAFOD, Beyond 2015, and CAN and hosted by the Permanent Mission of France to the UN. The workshop focused on climate as a development issue and on how the Post-2015 sustainable development goals and the UNFCCC processes can be complementary.

Key messages* that emerged from the workshop:

  1. There is a clear and explicit link between development and climate change
  2. DGs must guarantee visibility of climate change as a development issue and provide direction for climate change action
  3. The UNFCCC and post-2015 processes can complement each other
  4. Differentiation according to country contexts is crucial for a universal approach, particularly for a climate change goal
  5. Advantages of a dedicated goal on climate change
  6. The success of the SDGs will depend on means of implementation

MY World and Climate Change

Though the MY World survey has globally ranked ‘Action Taken on Climate Change’ low, a recent report published by Overseas Development Institute shows highly ranked priorities such as ’Better health care’, ‘Access to clear water and sanitation’,  ‘Protecting forests, rivers and oceans’, ‘Affordable and nutritious food’, ‘Equality between men and women’ and ‘Jobs and Prosperity’ amongst others can be considered either direct or indirect impacts of climate change.

veryhighhdiAnother interesting correlation found is that ‘Action Taken on Climate Change’  rises up seven priorities in Very  High HDI countries compared to countries with lower HDI levels. This reflects the awareness of climate change in countries that have a higher Gross National Income and score higher on the Education Index. Countries with a very low HDI rank climate change last with the exception of a few low-lying island member states. See more MY World data here

 *The key messages represent a summary of the discussion during the workshop but not the position of any particular government or organization present.