Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Online Petition sites join to Demand Climate Targets from APEC

Online social justice petition sites Get up! and Avaaz have launched a joint campaign demanding Real climate targets from leaders attending the APEC 2007 forum in Sydney this week. The sites have set a task of 100,000 online signatures on a petition to be presented to APEC leaders.

They have also encouraged site visitors to download a climate target logo: draw it, paint it, or print it, or "get creative--paint it on the side of your house, carve it into a snowbank or a beach, or get friends together and make a human target in a park" then photograph it and upload the photo to the GetUp! or Avaaz sites. The first wave of photos will be shown at a press conference in Sydney this Wednesday 5th September.

Prime Minister John Howard is intent on subsidising his mates in the coal industry through massive investment in clean coal technologies and geo-sequestration of CO2 (both still under research and development) while expanding the mining, use and export of coal. The Howard Government is also intent on pushing nuclear power as a method of reducing climate impacts despite the heavy capitalisation cost in starting such an industry and the dangers in processing, operation and waste management in the nuclear industry. Meanwhile research, development and installation of renewable energy systems has been starved of Government capital investment for at least 30 years.

Climate change and its effects and unfriendly nuclear proliferation are now at the top of opinion polls, according to a Lowy Institute poll reported on in the Australian.

So if you can't make the protests in Sydney this week, spend a few minutes and join this online campaign to demand firm climate targets from the leaders meeting at APEC in Sydney.
Email to Avaaz subscribers

This weekend, leaders of 21 nations--responsible for half the world's greenhouse gases--will meet at the APEC summit in Australia. Climate change tops their agenda. But according to leaks, a growing number around US President Bush and Australia's John Howard want to ditch the binding global targets needed to avert catastrophic climate change, and replace them with empty rhetoric about "aspirational goals" and voluntary action.

The global climate movement has built up tremendous energy this year--we mustn't let the cynics hijack our campaign and turn it into hot air. We need to make sure the Asia-Pacific leaders, and the 1100 journalists covering the summit, can't ignore the world's call for binding targets. To grab their attention, let's create a spectacular photo petition of "target" images all over the world--we already have "target ceremonies" planned at the Great Barrier Reef, Patagonia, Palau, and many more! Submitting your own target photo is easy and fun--click here to learn how:


* To contribute, you can just draw a target--a dot with circles around it--on the palm of your hand, and snap a photo with your cell phone,
* You could print the special target logo from our website, and take a picture of yourself holding it up as a sign,
* Or get creative--paint it on the side of your house, carve it into a snowbank or a beach, or get friends together and make a human target in a park.

Once you have your picture, click through to our website at this link to send it to Avaaz-- it will pop up in our global photo map right away. We'll also show the first wave of photos at a big press conference in Sydney this Wednesday 5th September, so there's no time to spare!

We'll also deliver the biggest global petition for binding climate targets--we can use the "targets" spectacle to amplify our efforts. Avaaz has worked with Australian allies at GetUp to plan a stunning series of target ceremonies--including a 144 square-metre target banner that swimmers will float over the Great Barrier Reef. (If climate change is not reined in, the Reef will be extinct by 2030. Its caretakers are excited to help keep it alive!) These powerful images will join the photos contributed by the rest of us around the world, to send an unmistakable, global call to action.

We want to make sure the leaders gathering in Australia see targets on the news as they go to sleep, and in the newspapers when they wake up. So click here to see all the targets that have been sent in so far, and to send in your own:


Last week, after international campaigners revealed prime minister Howard's plans to junk real targets at APEC (the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit), Australia's main opposition party took up the rallying cry. Howard is set to call an election shortly after the summit. By focusing public attention on this issue, we can multiply the pressure on him and other leaders in the "Axis of Global Warming"--and strengthen the hands of those leaders who support the right policies, from New Zealand to Chile and the Philippines. Most of all, we can try to pin down those wavering leaders in the middle, unsure which way to decide. Every leader must answer: do they support global, binding targets? Or are they full of hot air and voluntary "aspirations"?

The APEC summit is the first of a string of critical meetings this fall, leading up to a major conference in Bali, Indonesia where work will begin on the next Kyoto Protocol. What happens in Australia will shape everything that comes after. And because of the worldwide movement that hundreds of thousands of Avaaz members have driven forward--from the G8 to Live Earth--we now have a real chance to shape what happens in Sydney.

The world needs binding global targets to stop climate catastrophe. Let's join together, demand action, and aim high -

With hope,
Ben, Ricken, Iain, Graziela, Galit, Paul, and the Avaaz team