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The UNFCCC Newsroom presents a new entry as part of the series of Climate Songs for Paris COP 21. The song "Set the World right Again" was submitted by Alan Atkisson.

Listen to Set the World Right Again


“Set the World Right Again” grew out of almost that many years of engagement with sustainable development issues and specifically, with the great challenge of climate change:  “Like a fire that you can’t put out / A bad dream that you can’t stop thinking about.”

Alan AtKisson is an author, consultant, speaker, and executive trainer, focused on issues of sustainability. He mainly works as a strategic advisor, speaker, and author on sustainability, but he has also been writing songs and performing professionally as a singer-songwriter for over thirty years. He finished writing this song in 2009 when he was working as a consultant to the UN Secretariat (DESA), building support for ideas that could accelerate the spread of renewables to developing countries.

Climate change has taken up a large part of his work since the 80s as he has had the opportunity to talk to many scientists about it. He grew more and more worried and in 1990 he wrote a dark-humor song called “Dead Planet Blues.”

Twenty-five years later, the message of “Set the World Right Again” is much more optimistic.

Our work in these times is no longer about ringing alarm bells; it’s about transforming systems, and righting the wrongs. In the case of climate change, there are very few people who actually want to cause global warming — but in the language of the song, dumping tons and tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is like “an experiment you shouldn’t have run.” We have to fix it.

These days, climate change continues to be at the top of Alan’s agenda, as he travels the world speaking about sustainability strategy and greening the economy. At a more substantive and strategic level, he is also helping the United Nations prepare for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Set the World Right Again- Song Text

Like a fire that you can't put out
A bad dream that you can't stop thinking about
An experiment you shouldn't have run
This world is a child with a gun

 You want to put the train on some new track
End the tragedy before they start the last act
Get the help of every woman and man
Stop the madness any way you can

            And set the world right again
           As if none of this had ever been
           Let the story have a happy ending
           Set the world right again 

Your objective is to turn the tide
In a game of risk and danger - and you have to choose sides
It's a game you have no choice but to play
And you wonder if there's any way

           To set the world right again
           As if none of this had ever been
           Let the story have a happy ending
           Set the world right again 

           There are voices that say that it's already too late
           There are voices that drown out each other in debate
           There are voices that claim that there's no place to start
           But the only voice to listen to
           Is the voice in your heart

 In the end it all comes down to love
What you care enough about to be the champion of
And believe no matter how hard it seems
That it’s possible to live this dream

           And set the world right again
           As if none of this had ever been
           Let the story have a happy ending
           Set the world right again

Send us your Climate Song for Paris COP21

Are you an amateur or professional singer, and do you care deeply about climate change? Then be part of the global movement in support of a meanginful new universal climate change agreement to be concluded in Paris in December (COP 21/CMP 11). Send us your climate songs to newsroom@unfccc.int so we can spread the word in the run-up to the meeting.

The song would need to be already posted online in a sharable format so that we can link to it (as a sound file or video or embedded on a website) and we would ask for a short paragraph about how it was made and what the song means for you.

Photo Credit : © Alan AtKisson

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