UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon meets with Greenpeace. From left to right: Daniel Mittler, Athena Ronquillo, Gerd Leipold, Ban Ki-moon, Jamie Choi and John Passacantando.
The UN Secretary General has real moral authority. We hope that
Ban Ki-moon will use it to call for a "Bali Mandate". What's that?
It's what we need to get out of the biggest climate negotiations in
over a decade that will take place in Bali, Indonesia at the end of
the year. It's a rescue plan for planet earth, which will result in
a strengthened Kyoto Protocol.
Ban and Leipold discussed climate change - both agreeing about
the urgency of the situation and moral imperative of taking
concrete action based upon equity to protect people and the planet
from runaway climate change.
Then the Secretary General laid it out for us: "We need you,
Greenpeace, to mobilize public opinion and enable politicians to do
the right thing." Putting the ball squarely in our court and that
of our supporters. Strong leadership is only half of the equation;
public pressure is the other half.
The Greenpeace delegation
A number of Greenpeace staff joined in the meeting. To show our
diversity, and to deliver their own messages:
, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, ably represented those
in the US that do not endorse the position and intransigence of the
Bush administration. Passacantando told how people in the US are
already addressing the climate emergency. He also urged the
Secretary General to ignore Bush's "big emitters" conference next
week, dismissing it as a diversion tactic from a president no one
is listening to anymore.
, a young Korean activist working for Greenpeace China,
described how the energy revolution is already underway in Asia.
Adding that many young people have grown impatient with slow moving
, two of our policy experts, who've been first hand participants
through years of climate change political meetings, were also
there. Ronquillo gave a quick outline of what we'll be doing in
the next few months to ramp up the pressure on politicians on the
Road to Bali and how we will push for a meaningful mandate to
tackle climate change.
Two climate meetings
Our meeting with the General Secretary is a prelude to the UN
'informal' Climate Summit on Monday, September 24th, in New York,
with some 80 heads of state.
At this meeting next week, we are again among the speakers
addressing delegates and heads of state. Greenpeace China campaign
director Sze Ping will talk about our work there, and how China can
be part of the solution to climate change. And he will deliver the
message of our energy revolution: We have to technology we need. We
just need to use energy smarter and ensure a massive uptake of
renewable energies and we can still avert climate chaos.
Later next week, the Bush administration will host its own
climate change meeting, scheduled to start September 27th in
Washington, DC. This is the so-called "big emitters" meeting since
it's for the 16 countries that account for 90 percent of global
Bush is expected to keep pushing the idea of "aspirational
targets". They are nothing legally binding or meaningful. At best,
they are a random wish list - that will still result in a cooked
Greenpeace will be at the meeting too, providing analysis,
comment and opposition to this distraction from the real task. We
need real commitment at the next climate talks. Not more fluff.
"The clock is ticking", Ban Ki-moon told us yesterday. There truly
is no time to waste.
You might not have an invitation to the UN, but you've got an
invitation from us. Join the 7
steps programme. We'll send you seven emails over seven weeks
with simple ways you can put the heat on politicians and business
leaders. We need your help over the next few months to increase
political pressure on the road to Bali.
Join the 7 steps
We don't accept money from governments or corporations -- and our financial independence is what allows us to pressure both. We rely on over 2 million people worldwide who give whatever they can. Join us.