The election year of 2024 is the climate’s window of opportunity

(EurActiv, 1 Feb 2024) 40% of the world’s population will be voting in the coming months. This is an opportunity for citizens around the world to call for more action to tackle the climate emergency, writes Mattias Söderberg.

Mattias Söderberg is global climate lead at DanChurchAid with a focus on climate change and development aid.

In the coming months, 2 billion voters across 50 countries will be heading to polling stations to make their voices heard. Never before have so many people been eligible to vote in a single year. And never before have one year’s elections represented 8 out of the 10 most populous countries in the world and more than 40% of the population.

What effects will these elections have on our joint efforts to handle the climate crisis?

The climate crisis is a reality, and more and more people around the world are experiencing the effects. While millions of voters in the global North are driving their cars to the polling stations, millions of people in the global South are displaced and food insecure due to droughts, floods, extreme heat, and devastating storms.

Sadly, in the run up to elections, politicians tend to move their focus towards national, and local debates to appeal to their voters. This could be bad news for the UN climate talks. The next climate summit, COP29, in November, will be very important. Parties are expected, after a long process, to adopt a new collective quantified goal for climate finance. This international process will need all the attention it can get, and it will require national commitments.

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EurActiv, 1 Feb 2024: The election year of 2024 is the climate’s window of opportunity