28 August 2009

100 Days: UN Calls for Signatures for Action on Climate Change

VIENNA, 28 August (UN Information Service) - The United Nations is calling for millions of online signatures for a climate petition and is launching the first-ever Global Climate Week as part of its Seal the Deal! campaign, 100 days ahead of a crucial UN climate change summit in Copenhagen (COP 15) in December.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is leading the call for communities around the world to take advantage of Global Climate Week from September 21-25 to encourage leaders to seal a fair, balanced and effective agreement on climate change.

"Time is running out. Scientists warn that climate impacts are accelerating. Now more than ever, we need political leadership at the highest level to ensure we protect people and the planet, and to catalyze the green growth that can power the 21st century economy," the UN Secretary-General stressed.

"With just 15 negotiating days remaining before the start of COP15, now is the time for people in every corner of the world to urge their governments to seal a fair, effective and ambitious deal in Copenhagen," he added.

On 1 September, Mr. Ban will visit a Norwegian island deep inside the Arctic Circle near the North Pole to witness the problem of glacial melt and other climate change impacts.

Global Climate Week will coincide with the Secretary-General's Summit on Climate Change at UN Headquarters in New York on September 22, one day ahead of the annual General Assembly meeting.

Among the events planned for more than 120 countries are youth assemblies, tree planting drives, a climate neutral day and a 'Go Green Day'. New York and other cities around the world have set up a full programme for the week.

"A scientifically-credible deal in Copenhagen can catalyze a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy which is so essential on a planet of six billion people, rising to over nine billion by 2050. As such, it will represent perhaps the biggest and most far reaching stimulus package of 2009 and beyond," added Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Communities, businesses and individuals are encouraged to add their voices to the Seal the Deal! campaign during Global Climate Week by signing the Climate Petition at www.sealthedeal2009.org to coalesce millions of signatures.

The Climate Petition is a consolidation of appeals supported by the UN Seal the Deal! campaign, the Global Coalition on Climate Action and other major campaigns. The petition will be presented by civil society to the governments of the world in Copenhagen.

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva, the President of Ethiopia, Girma Woldegiorgis and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Han Seung-soo and Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai are amongst those who have lent their support to campaign.

The campaign has also attracted the support of Austrian pop group My Excellence with a song called "Come On (Seal the Deal)" which was performed for the first time live on August 28 in a ceremony at the United Nations Office at Vienna attended by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"Efforts made today to combat climate change are one of the smartest possible investments we can make in our future. We need to show our support for green stimulus packages and a fair deal in Copenhagen which will determine the path of the global economy and the well-being of hundreds of millions of people throughout the 21st century," said Mr. Ban.


To sign the petition, go to www.sealthedeal2009.org.

To pledge your support and to sign up for Global Climate Week go to http://www.sealthedeal2009.org/global-climate-week.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is supporting the Internews Earth Journalism Awards to honour the best climate change reporting in the run up to Copenhagen: http://awards.earthjournalism.org/content/climate-change-negotiations-award.

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For more information, please contact:

Nick Nuttall
UNEP Spokesperson and Head of Media
Telephone: (+254-20) 762-3084
Mobile: (+254-733) 63-2755
When travelling: (+41-795) 96-5737
Email: nick.nuttall@unep.org

Martina Donlon
UN Department of Public Information
Telephone: (+1) 212-963-6816
Email: donlon@un.org

Shereen Zorba
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Telephone: (+254-20) 762-5022
Mobile: (+254-713) 60-1259
Email: shereen.zorba@unep.org