As climate crisis heats up, UNDP launches “Mission 1.5” campaign to engage citizens globally in decision-making

KYIV, 13 February 2020 – Twenty million people around the world are getting the chance to have their say on climate change as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launches its Mission 1.5 campaign today.

Built around an online and mobile-based video game, the campaign covers the world’s countries, including Ukraine, and offers an easy and engaging way to learn about solutions that help stop climate change. The Mission 1.5 campaign, led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), also aims to bring citizens and governments together for ambitious climate action.  

In the campaign, developed by UNDP alongside experts in game development, climate science and public polling, players take on the role of climate policymakers and make decisions to try to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.  

After the game, players are asked to vote on key climate actions they want to see adopted. This data will be analyzed and delivered to governments, who often lack access to reliable information on public opinion on climate action.  

The previous biggest international survey of public opinion on climate change canvassed 10,000 people across 76 countries, and was conducted ahead of the 2015 Paris climate talks.

The Mission 1.5 game is available at https://mission1point5.org/ and can be played by people in every country in the world. It is currently available in the six official UN languages, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

The climate change threat, while impacting countries worldwide, could have particularly serious effects in Ukraine. The country, which has some of the richest farmland on the planet, could see its agriculture sector hit hard by warming temperatures, scientists have warned. With higher annual average temperatures and more frequent droughts, it could become impossible to raise crops in some of the southern portions of the country, and irrigation will have to be used, they say. Temperature rises could also increase the problem of crop pests, which would have a further negative impact on crop yields. Ukraine is currently the third largest exporter of agricultural products to the European Union, and lower crop harvests, particularly of grain, will have a knock-on effect on food supplies around the world.

Ukraine also faces the possible loss of 1 million hectares of its land in the south due to rising sea levels brought on by climate change, as well as extreme weather causing damage to the country’s energy supply infrastructure. Ukraine could contribute to mitigating climate change by reducing its use of fossil fuels and taking measures to improve energy efficiency – the country’s economy is one of the most energy intensive in Europe.

The Mission 1.5 game aims to educate the public about these and other dangers of climate change, and spur world leaders to take action.

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, said: "Together with partners from across the private and public sectors, we have the ability with this campaign to connect millions of people with their governments in an innovative two-way discussion on solutions to the climate crisis, and increase ambition ahead of the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow later this year.”

Speaking after the launch of Mission 1.5, UNDP’s Resident Representative in Ukraine Dafina Gercheva said the game, as well as being fun, had a very serious side.

“Ukrainians are very knowledgeable about the environment, and are already experiencing the effects of climate change with this winter’s unusually warm weather, so I’m sure they’ll get some great scores in the game,” Gercheva said.

“But more importantly, by polling their opinions and providing the data to world leaders, Mission 1.5 will show politicians that people here know what needs to done to avert catastrophic climate change, and that they want action to be taken now.”

About Mission 1.5 

Mission 1.5 was developed by UNDP and partners as an online platform that educates people on climate action and connects them with their governments and policymakers. The campaign is called Mission 1.5 because we must act now to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.   

For more information: 

About UNDP:  

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations

Media contacts:

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:  

Yuliia Samus, Communication Specialist, UNDP Ukraine, communications.ukraine@undp.org, +38 044 254 0035

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UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

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