Yesterday, a Greenpeace delegation met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
[ Update: Just posted Jamie's impressions of the meet. ]
Here's a first hand account from Greenpeace Executive Director, Gerd Leipold:
It’s official. You, our supporters, make all the difference. Today I met with the world’s highest official – Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations. Moon, a career diplomat, surprised me earlier this year when he put climate change at the top of his agenda. He has stressed the links between climate change and security. He clearly means it. Moon was composed and charming with a message determined and clear: We have the technology and the resources to fight climate change. We even have a real sense of urgency - as the impacts of climate change are starting to be felt around the world. What is lacking is political will. “We need you, Greenpeace, to mobilize public opinion and enable politicians to do the right thing.” - Are you ready? We are. We have our energy revolution scenario, that can deliver energy to the world, cut emissions and create jobs. And we know that only a stronger Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 will deliver the emission cuts the world needs.
Ban Ki-moon understands that. That’s why he is hosting a meeting of more than 70 Heads of States next Monday. The meeting is designed to give a push on the “Road to Bali”- the run up to the biggest climate negotiations the world has seen in a decade. To be held on the island of Bali, Indonesia at the end of the year, world leaders will need to agree to a new binding climate regime by 2009 at the latest. That’s also why he was impressed when my colleague, Jamie Choi, a Greenpeace China campaigner and of Korean nationality like Ban Ki-moon - The Secretary General clearly enjoyed the opportunity to speak a few sentences in his mother tongue while on official business, not often that that happens - stressed how the future of young people in China depends on changing the way China produces energy. That’s why he could not but smile and be impressed, when my colleague Athena Ballesteros, recounted how her child was one year old at the Kyoto negotiations in 1997. Now she is ten years old—but she is still waiting for the urgent action required.
My colleague John Passacantando from the US told Moon to ignore President Bush’s “big Emitters”conference scheduled for Washington, DC next week. It’s just a diversion and even the US public isn’t listening to Bush anymore. Americans want to join the world in solving global warming.
We finished the meeting handing over a Swiss watch stating the plain truth that “Time is running out”. The Secretary General liked it. Apparently this morning he had told his staff that “the clock is ticking”. Now it really is. A Greenpeace clock is ticking for him - reminding him daily that there is no time to waste. Let’s help him act in time.
For those of you new to climate activism, our 7 steps program is a good way to get started. It starts you off with changing lightbulbs, and by step six you'll be challenging a government to outlaw energy wasting lightbulbs completely. ( Step seven is a surprise. :-) Just wait and see.)
Also plenty more ways to help on our take action page.