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UN calls for signatures on Climate Change

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31 – With just about 100 days to the crucial United Nations Climate Change (COP 15) Summit in Copenhagen in December, the UN is calling for millions of online signatures for a climate petition.

The United Nations is also launching the first-ever Global Climate Week as part of its Seal the Deal Campaign.

"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 catalyse the green growth that can power the 21st century economy,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said.

The Copenhagen meeting is supposed to come up with a new, clean deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.

The Kyoto Protocol has received criticism from various quarters including the United Nations itself who say it has not been effective especially on its call for countries to reduce Green house gas emissions.

The United States which is among the largest emitters did not commit to the Kyoto protocol.

The UN boss is leading the call for communities around the world to take advantage of Global Climate Week which begins September 21-25 to encourage leaders to seal a fair, balanced and effective agreement on climate change.

"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.

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On 1 September, he 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’.

"A scientifically-credible deal in Copenhagen can catalyse 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, United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director.

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

The Climate Petition is a consolidation of appeals supported by the UN Seal the Deal! campaign. The petition will be presented by civil society groups to the governments of the world in Copenhagen.  

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai is among those who have lent their support to campaign.

“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 the UN Secretary General.

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