350.org COP 15 Release, December 7, 2009
350.org Brings International Movement to Copenhagen Climate Talks
The international climate campaign 350.org arrived in Copenhagen this week with a diverse delegation of over 300 young organizers from over 50 countries. Armed with cell phones, laptops, and a network of tens of thousands of activists around the world, 350.org will be pushing for a climate deal that meets the three-digit target that has become a symbol of climate action around the world: 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“People of every faith, rich and poor, on every continent have spoken clearly in the last few months, rallying around the 350 target in what CNN called ‘the most widespread day of political action in the planet's history.’” said McKibben, referring to 350.org’s global day of action last October 24 that united over 5,200 events in more than 180 countries.
“If ordinary citizens understand the science, our leaders have no excuse for not producing a deal that meets the scale of the crisis.”
As climate negotiators gather in Copenhagen, 350.org is now working with citizens in thousands of places around the world to prepare for candlelight “vigils for survival,” over the weekend of December 12, designed to demonstrate public support for a fair, ambitious and binding agreement strong enough to actually slow climate change.
“From Cape Town to Copenhagen, people will be spelling out the number 350 in candles, because that's the most important number in the world,” said 350.org South African organizer, Samantha Bailey. “Around the world, concerned citizens have been reminding politicians that scientists now believe 350 parts per million CO2 is the most we can safely have in the atmosphere. Since we're already past that level we need our leaders to work much harder to reach an agreement.”
The vigils, designed to show solemn solidarity with the victims of climate change and shine a light to solutions, are part of “The World Wants a Real Deal” weekend of action organized by hundreds of organizations, faith groups, labor unions, and more. On Sunday, hundreds of churches will ring their bells “350” times.
“This is a reminder we haven't gone away--that around the world people will keep up the pressure until our leaders do what chemistry and physics demand,” Jamie Henn, 350.org’s media coordinator said.
One target for the December vigils will be American embassies and consulates. “America seems to hold the key to these talks, and so far Barack Obama hasn't turned that key,” said Bill McKibben, 350.org founder said. “We're very hopeful he'll show the kind of leadership he promised during his presidential campaign, when he excited people across the planet with his call for change.”
350.org spokespeople, including youth leaders from Ethiopia, China, the Solomon Islands, and the United States, are in Copenhagen and available for interviews.
Jamie Henn, 350.org
Copenhagen cell: +45 52 68 47 65