Sir David Attenborough announces UN’s new AI bot, designed to help individuals unite in actions to battle climate change
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Published: 4 December 2018
This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod
In an address to the opening session of United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24, December 02-14) in Katowice, Poland Sir David Attenborough urged everyone to use the UN’s new ActNow.bot to take direct, personal action against climate change.
Interactive chat bot
The ActNow.bot is a fully interactive and responsive chat bot, located on the UN’s Facebook page, that suggests actions – determined by the user’s interaction with the bot – that would help to preserve the environment.
According to the UN, the ActNow.bot will make it ‘easier than ever before’ for people to understand what actions they can take personally in the fight against climate change.
ActNow.bot will recommend everyday actions – like taking public transport and eating less
meat – and track the number of actions to highlight the impact that collective action can make at this critical moment in our planet’s history.
The actions are logged on the platform where they can be shared with social media followers to persuade them to take action, too. The collective actions will be presented during the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in New York in September 2019.
‘Rising global temperature, record levels of greenhouse emissions, and increasing impacts of climate change require urgent and measurable action on the part of everyone. This new social media tool, a Facebook Messenger bot, will help people learn about activities to reduce their carbon footprint, and show—and share with friends – how they are making an impact. We all need to do things differently.’
UN Under-Secretary-General of Global Communications
The initiative comes as global decision makers are being asked to intensify efforts in the battle against climate change, and to agree to implement guidelines of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.
All this is evolving against a backdrop of conclusive new evidence, by UN Environment, that reveals countries need ‘to significantly step up’ the necessary actions to fulfil the commitments made in Paris.
The aim of the Climate Action Bot is to highlight popular global commitment to reducing climate change, and to stand behind decision makers worldwide in taking actions to preserve our environment.
David Attenborough’s speech – ‘The People’s Address’ – was preceded by a video made up of People’s Seat social media content posted in advance of COP24 using the hashtag #TakeYourSeat.
The UN’s People’s Seat was designed to give everyone a voice at COP24. It allowed people to ‘virtually sit’ and share their views alongside leaders, governments and
representative organisations at COP24.
Recognising that climate change is a global challenge that requires a global solution, the UN wanted to engage all citizens to add their voices and actions in support of efforts to help raise ambition to tackle climate change.
Speaking of ‘The People’s Seat’ initiative, Sir David Attenborough described a new activism shaped by people from around the world and collected through social media.
‘In the last two weeks,’ he said, ‘the world’s people have taken part in creating this address, answering polls, creating videos and voicing their opinions.’
‘They want you – the decision makers – to act now’, the British broadcaster said, addressing the politicians and officials assembled for two weeks in this Polish mining town to negotiate next steps in monitoring and mitigating climate change.
‘The people are behind you, supporting you in making tough decisions, but they are also willing to make sacrifices in their daily lives’, Attenborough said. ‘To make this even easier, the UN is launching the Act Now bot. Helping people to discover simple everyday actions that they can take, because they recognise that they too must play their part.’