International head of Greenpeace urges Key to Copenhagen

Press release - November 30, 2009
The International Executive Director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naodoo has written personally to Prime Minister John Key, urging him to attend the UN climate talks in Copenhagen. (1)

Kumi Naidoo

In the letter, Kumi Naidoo (2) said: "There is still enough time to reach a fair, ambitious and binding deal in Copenhagen, but what is lacking is political will. We are appealing to you to do your utmost to create an environment of cooperation and mutual trust that will enable the breakthrough the world is waiting for.

"We appeal to you to come to Copenhagen with a reduction target that is based on IPCC….please increase New Zealand's target to 40% below 1990 levels. This would enable New Zealand to show environmental leadership and protect its clean green reputation."

The number of people who've joined Greenpeace New Zealand's Sign On campaign in support of 40% by 2020 now stands at 175,000; about 4% of the population and roughly the same as 12 million people in the US, or 2.4 million people in the UK.

The letter from Mr Naidoo follows confirmation from over 85 world leaders, including those from the US, UK, Australia, China, Canada and Brazil, that they're attending the summit.

"John Key is looking increasingly isolated over Copenhagen," said Greenpeace Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer. "His stance defies any logic. If he fails to show, his decision will go down in history as one of the fundamental mistakes of a New Zealand leader."

Kumi Naidoo: "The time for political declarations or politically binding handshakes is over. Copenhagen provides a unique opportunity for real change. Together you and other world leaders can make history in Copenhagen by agreeing to a fair, ambitious and binding agreement."

The Sign On campaign will culminate in a range of events around the country on Saturday, including a march up Queen Street, and free concert in Auckland. See


Notes: (1) For the full text of Kumi Naidoo’s email, go to: (2) Kumi Naidoo took on the Executive Director role last month. A life-long human rights activist, Naidoo was active in the anti-apartheid movement in his native South Africa. He is a Rhodes Scholar. He sits on the board of Greenpeace Africa, and chairs the Global Campaign for Climate Action.