Why we did it

Why we created action/2015

2015 was a critical year for people and planet.

Two crucial UN summits towards the end of 2015 offered the opportunity to bring about impactful change.

One summit in September resulted in new global goals – a framework to end all forms of poverty, discrimination, and inequality. The other summit in December set new climate action targets – a crucial step towards a safer planet. These commitments taken together laid the foundation for addressing the world’s most pressing challenges.

2015 was the year we needed to let world leaders know that we’re watching them, and to tell them exactly what we want them to do. We stood at the turning point for the future of people and the planet. We accelerated action to make sure no individual or country was left behind. What happened in 2015 will make a huge difference to our future.

We’ve already made progress – we’ve halved extreme poverty rates, cut preventable child deaths by nearly 50 per cent and made real progress in protecting the ozone layer.

From campaigning on issues such as the right to access antiretroviral medications for treatment of HIV infection to childhood immunizations to protecting the environment – when we come together we can make a difference.

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How we took action

The decisions made at the two gatherings in September and December 2015 helped shape the fate of the next generation and many more to come. So it was vital that leaders stepped up to the challenge and made these plans as ambitious as possible.

Together we have taken over 31 million actions in over 150 countries. From Indonesia to Iran, Burkina Faso to Brazil, London to Lima and everywhere between millions raised their voice to demand a better future for people and planet. This year, we have demonstrated the breadth and depth of public support for ambitious action and delivered an indisputable mandate to our leaders to deliver on their promises.

As a global movement of citizens, we raised our voice for the generations of tomorrow.

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What we achieved

In 2015 we began our journey towards a better world.

Two historic summits in 2015 provided a unique opportunity to accelerate change. However, public pressure was essential to increase the ambition of these agreements and build the political will behind them, turning them from a piece of paper into a reality.

Together, we increased pressure on decision-makers by:

    • Creating a global platform for change that demonstrated the scale of our call for action. The 31 million actions taken across the year showed that the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and Climate Agenda are the people’s goals and agreements. Together we’ve made it clear that world leaders and the UN are accountable to us.
    • Bringing news of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and the Climate Agreement to millions of people to ensure the public is aware of what governments have signed up to and hold them accountable in coming years.
    • Highlighting how the core issues of our time – poverty, inequality and climate change – are interlinked. Addressing climate change, and ending poverty and inequalities are two sides of the same coin. We can’t deliver sustainable development without tackling climate change, and we can’t tackle climate change without addressing the root causes of poverty, inequality and unsustainable development patterns.
    • Harnessing strengths, expertise and resources through global campaigns and national coalitions that united diverse movements and people around the world. These relationships, built during the campaign, will strengthen the ability of civil society – including local communities, faith groups, trade unions and non-governmental organisations – to hold leaders to account.

action/2015 came to an end on 1 January 2016 but civil society’s campaigning for change does not.

Now comes the time for world leaders to show ambition and turn the commitments made in 2015 from a piece of paper into reality for millions of people around the world make ambitious positive change and finish the job in 2016 and beyond.

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