UN Endorsement Press Release
September 15, 2010
Contact: Jamie Henn, 415-601-9337, email@example.com
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon Endorses 350.org’s 10/10/10 Global Work Party
“It’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work on building the clean energy future.”
Climate “Work Parties” planned in 157 countries for this October 10
New York, NY – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon gave international climate campaign 350.org a boost today by endorsing the group’s 10/10/10 Global Work Party, a day of practical climate action with events now planned in over 150 countries.
“It’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work on building the clean energy future that will generate economic opportunity and provide a better, safer, healthier world for our children,” said Secretary Moon. “On October 10, I encourage everyone to do his or her part to be part of the solution to the climate challenge.”
The 10/10/10 Global Work Party is shaping up to be history’s largest day of practical action to fight the climate crisis. Thousands of “work parties” are now planned in over 150 countries, from students in Zimbabwe installing solar panels on a rural hospital to women in Pakistan leading a solar-oven workshop for local villagers.
“10/10/10 will be remembered as the day the world put aside its differences and came together to do whatever is needed to prevent runaway climate change,” said Franny Armstrong, founder of the 10:10 campaign, an organization which helped inspire today’s events.
“People will do very practical things on 10/10/10,” said 350.org founder, well-known American environmentalist Bill McKibben. “But they also were sending a pointed political message. When they put down their shovels, many will pick up their cell-phones to call their leaders and say: ‘We’re getting to work, what about you?’”
Secretary General Moon is not the only world leader that has endorsed the day of events. President Mohamed Nasheed in the Maldives has pledged to climb on his roof on 10/10/10 and help install a new set of solar panels donated by American company,Sungevity.
President Nasheed’s commitment is a pointed contrast with President Obama’s recent refusal to retrofit the White House roof with a set of solar panels offered by 350.org last week as part of their “Put Solar on It” road trip.
“There’s still time for President Obama to join us on 10/10/10,” said Jamie Henn, 350.org co-founder. “After all, if everyday people around the world can put up solar panels on their rooftops, why can’t the President of the United States?”
Last year 350.org lead more than 5,200 events in more than 180 countries to support the goal of reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere below 350 parts per million. CNN called the rallies, “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.” Six weeks later at the UN Climate Meetings in Copenhagen, 112 countries endorsed the 350 ppm target.
Now, 350.org is aiming to make the Global Work Party even more widespread than last year’s rallies.
“This campaign would be impossible without the internet,” said Henn. “We’re using the web to coordinate events in more than 150 countries. When I can Skype a friend in Cambodia, email organizers in Kenya, and get online photos from events Brazil, a whole new type of movement is possible.”
A huge variety of people are helping organize the October’s events, from small grassroots groups like Nepalese Youth for Climate Action to international environmental giants like Greenpeace.
“Hopefully 10/10/10 will spur some action at the next UN climate meeting in Mexico this December,” said McKibben. “Maybe now that they’ve seen us hammering in solar panels, they’ll decide to hammer out a treaty.”
Founded by American environmentalist Bill McKibben, 350.org is an international campaign that works to build a global climate movement. On October 24, 2009 they organized what CNN called the “most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.”350.org is named after the goal of reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere from its current level of 390 parts per million to below 350 ppm, the safe upper limit according to the latest science.