Avaaz Letter from Bali
for those of you that did not see this, people power via the internet is having an effect not witnessed at the Kyoto climate change talks one decade ago. (CLB/ed)
Wow - on Saturday, in desperate last-minute negotiations, the world faced down an effort by the US, Canada and Japan to wreck the crucial Bali Climate Change Summit. Over 600,000 Avaaz members mobilized to save the Bali talks, including 320,000 in the final 72 hours! Click below to read the whole story with photos and videos:
Arriving in Bali, most countries wanted to work towards a new global treaty on climate change as well as new targets for carbon emissions by rich countries. But late last week, the US and Canada teamed up to undermine the talks -- the US blocked the whole Bali summit consensus, and when a smaller group of Kyoto treaty countries tried to move ahead without the US, they were blocked by Canada. The summit was in danger of deadlock.
The Avaaz community flew into action, signing and spreading petitions to each of the governments, supporting ad campaigns in Bali and Canada, marches around the world, and phoning and lobbying elected officials. At the summit, Avaaz members brought the storm of public criticism inside the conference walls with the only march allowed inside the venue, the largest climate petition delivery in history, daily press conferences and "fossil awards" for the worst countries in the negotiations, and constant lobbying of officials.
In the final hours of the summit, Canada backed down completely and allowed Kyoto countries to agree to strong 2020 targets on carbon emissions, and the US team, now entirely isolated and actually booed by the world's diplomats, compromised and agreed to call for "deep cuts" and "reference" the 2020 targets. This paved the way for the summit to agree to sign a new global climate change treaty by 2009.
Usually these conferences are stuffy diplomatic affairs - but this time the world was watching, and speaking, each day. Together, we brought people-powered politics to the halls of power, and put our governments on notice: in the fight to save our environment, we will not be spectators. Click below to see a report on this campaign with videos and pictures:
This is just the beginning. Every nation of the world has now agreed that they will enter into accelerated negotiations and, by 2009, sign a new treaty to confront global warming. We need this treaty to set binding global targets for carbon emissions, and a mechanism for meeting them, that keep the earth's temperature from rising more than 2 degrees celsius - the amount that scientists say would be 'catastrophic'. Such a treaty will change the world's economy forever, weaning us off oil and fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy. Some leaders, in the pocket of the oil industry, will fight it tooth and nail all the way. And we will too. A great struggle to save our environment has begun, and this weekend, we showed together that the people of the world aren't intending to sit this one out.
With much respect and appreciation for this amazing community of people,
The whole Avaaz Team.