At Jubilee Gardens on London's South Bank, more than 300 volunteers formed a giant human banner, lying on the ground to form the shape of the Stop Climate Chaos symbol. West Midlands representatives of the coalition's partners held a supporting launch in Birmingham's Victoria Square. Stop Climate Chaos launches also took place in St. Fagans, Wales, and Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Eighteen campaign groups, including Friends of the Earth, WWF, People and Planet, Greenpeace, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Oxfam, Tearfund, Cafod, and the National Federation of Women's Institutes, have joined forces under the banner of Stop Climate Chaos, making it by far the largest climate change coalition this country has ever seen. "Nothing on this scale has been attempted before on climate change", says the website, "but anything less is unlikely to be successful."
The coalition's manifesto talks of "catalysing a popular mandate for political action on climate change." By bringing together environment, development, social justice and faith groups, Stop Climate Chaos will be able to mobilise its member organisations' millions of supporters, generating an unstoppable political momentum for urgent action on global warming.
Stop Climate Chaos is demanding substantial and sustained annual reductions in UK greenhouse gas emissions, in order to prevent global average temperatures rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. The Government, as well as meeting its long-standing target of a 20 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions (based on 1990 levels) by 2010, must set a 'carbon budget' to track and manage greenhouse gases emitted by the country as a whole, and contribute its share towards meeting the EU-wide target of a 30 per cent greenhouse gas reduction by 2020.The coalition is also calling on the Government to do everything in its power to assist developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change, eliminate the poverty which will inevitably exacerbate those impacts, and, in the long run, break away from fossil-fuel dependency.
For more information on the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, call 0207 324 4750 or visit www.stopclimatechaos.org.