Huge coalition formed to fight climate change

 Organisations with millions of supporters yesterday united to demand action on climate change. Eighteen campaign groups, including some of Britain's best known organisations, have joined forces to launch the biggest climate change coalition this country has ever seen. Five hundred volunteers formed a giant human banner on London's South Bank to mark the launch of the unique new movement. STOP CLIMATE CHAOS will mobilise its millions of members and supporters to put pressure on the government, whose plans to tackle climate change fall far short of what's needed. The new coalition wants the government to slash the UK's global warming gas emissions and make fighting climate change a key part of its plans to deal with global poverty. CAFOD, Christian Aid, The National Federation of Women's Institutes, Greenpeace, RSPB, WWF, CAFOD, Friends of the Earth, Operation Noah, People & Planet and Tearfund are just some of the groups already committed to the new movement, with many others set to join. The coalition will use its huge base of support to campaign against government failings, while mobilising public support for government initiatives that reduce the huge levels of CO2 being emitted. Ashok Sinha, Director of STOP CLIMATE CHAOS, said: "We're facing a catastrophe, with hundreds of millions of people at risk from severe drought, starvation and disease, and by the middle of the century up to one third of land-based species may face extinction. "The time has come to respond with the utmost urgency. The organisations that have come together today are supported by millions of people who will be called upon to demand the steps that must be taken right now." STOP CLIMATE CHAOS is campaigning for: 1. The UK government to deliver substantial annual reductions in UK greenhouse gas emissions, meet its target of cutting CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010 and to commit to an EU-wide greenhouse gas reduction target of 30% by 2020. 2. The UK government to make climate change a top international priority so that global warming is capped at a temperature rise of less than 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. This will require global emissions to have peaked and be irreversibly declining by 2015. 3. The UK government to ensure that its policies on combating global poverty include investing in low carbon technologies and clean energy and providing significantly more assistance to the developing world to adapt to climate change. The new movement believes politicians have so far failed to take anything like sufficient action to tackle the threat. The choices made in the next 5 or 10 years will determine the extent of the devastation faced by future generations. With coordinated action and the mobilisation of its massive supporter base, STOP CLIMATE CHAOS aims to become a potent political force for action. Ashok Sinha added: "We've rightly seen huge movements assembled to fight world poverty, now we're ready to take on what the Prime Minister has called the greatest long-term threat the world faces. "Before this decade is out world leaders like Tony Blair need to live up to their duty to prevent catastrophic climate change. Politicians can save millions of lives by keeping the average global temperature rise under 2 degrees C. That's the target. Our supporters are ready for the challenge."

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