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Gillian Caldwell

Gillian Caldwell

Posted: December 17, 2009 12:19 PM

Hoping in Copenhagen

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Last night, I ambled home through the snow after another 20 hour day and stayed up too late watching the inspiring documentary By the People: The Election of Barack Obama. I guess the Danes decided it made sense to broadcast on the eve of his arrival in Copenhagen. I also read Kumi Naidoo's open letter to Barack Obama. And I hoped.

I hoped against hope that one man could pick up the pieces of these broken negotiations and make things right again. That he would bend the 'arc of history' he talked about in his campaign in the direction of a fighting chance to save this precious planet and all the living things that depend on it.

And then I woke up.

So...it's back to the campaign. What's today's message?

Will the real world leaders please stand up? World leaders have two days to stand up and deliver the leadership the world is demanding. We don't need more empty talk or finger pointing: They know what a fair, ambitious and binding deal looks like.

We are heading for climate disaster: We are heading for a deal that leaders will hail as a success, but will not protect the most vulnerable people or avoid catastrophic climate change. Poor countries cannot be expected to sign a 'suicide pact' in Copenhagen -- this is about survival.

The world is watching: Civil society is locked out from the negotiations, but even from outside we can see the truth about what is happening: 100,000 people just marched on the streets of Copenhagen, as well as in 140 other countries. 11 million people around the world are watching to see if world leaders will ensure survival or if they will fail, condemning millions of people to insecurity, hunger, poverty and death. We will not be fooled by spin and our voices will not be silenced.

We are hosting a vigil for survival: World leaders have heard our call -- the call is clear. In the final hours of the climate talks, we are holding a candlelight vigil to stand in solidarity across the world. This solemn and powerful event recognizes the urgency and gravity of the moment, which will unite civil society in a call for bold climate action from world leaders. Coordinated civil society activities will take place Friday to deliver a verdict on the outcome of the U.N. climate negotiations.

We have less than two days left in the negotiations, and President Obama is scheduled to address the conference tomorrow. We need your voice urgently right now and it will only take a minute: Tell President Obama to set the table for a strong climate deal tomorrow in Copenhagen.

More in a few hours as the negotiations proceed. I'm locked out of the Bella Center today along with tens of thousands of other NGO observers.

 

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