Wednesday, October 13, 2010

World to Politicians: Get to Work on Climate Change

Photo Credit: Dougherty

In the absence of government action, and in recognition of a critical threat to our planet, organized a worldwide party on October 10th, 2010 called Global Action Day.’s Global Action Day was not only a day of service devoted to cleaning up our planet and building our clean energy future, but also a powerful way to send an urgent message to world leaders that inaction on climate change policy cannot last any longer. Citizens of the world in 188 countries participated in over 7,000 events. Find out what events took place near you.

As part of this effort, on October 10th, ‘Work Parties’ from around the world led by example, installing photovoltaic panels, weatherizing homes and schools, planting trees, cleaning up parks, and finally calling politicians to let them know that they are getting to work on climate change and asking why the politicians aren’t. One politician not remaining idle on climate change is Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, who performed the installation of solar panels on the roof of his presidential house himself. President Nasheed said “We don't have the luxury of time to sit and wait for the rest of the world to act. We are getting to work to start the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”

Photo Credit: Ong

The He Xanh (Vietnam Green Generation Network), a youth organization in Vietnam, organized over 20 events throughout Vietnam with over 1,500 young participants. In Ha Noi and Ha Tinh organizers raised awareness for the planet through the promotion of the environmental and health benefits of vegetarianism. Many other organizations and clubs held bike rides and marathons to promote awareness for climate change issues. Young Green Generation Network organizers also implemented activities to raise awareness for the harmful effects plastic bags are having on the planet; which account for a significant percent of debris washing up onto shores, polluting oceans, harming wildlife, and toxins contaminating soil and waterways.

The geographical diversity and participation level among the many participants of the Global Action Day, from Vietnam and Afghanistan to Maryland and South Africa, gave weight to the powerful message for action sent to the world’s political leaders. Some world leaders were involved in the day’s activities themselves, while many more praised the Global Action Day event. United Nations Climate Chief Christina Figuerers said, “When citizens are inspired to take action, it is easier for governments to initiate real climate change action.” We must be the force behind the fight to save the planet. As UN Climate Chief Figuerers suggested, how can world leaders remain idle while their citizens take up actions to address climate change?

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