Obama shows up in Copenhagen two months early

Feature story - 2 October, 2009
Our jaws hit the deck and we all fell out of our inflatables when we got word that Presidents Obama, Lula, Zapatero and Prime Minister Hatoyama were going to show up in Copenhagen. And then we found out that instead of showing up in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Summit in December, world leaders were actually going to be there today, 2 months ahead of schedule, to lobby the Olympic Congress for their cities to host the 2016 Games.

Acitivists make sure President Obama knows that his presence is required again in December at the UN Climate Summit.

To make sure the world leaders knew that their presence is required again in December, activists hung a huge reminder from the St Nicholas Church Tower reading "Obama: Right city, wrong date". The tower overlooks the church square where President Obama will be meeting with the Danish Prime Minister and Royal Family later today.

"The Olympic spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play is exactly what is missing from the current climate negotiations. Obama needs to help set a new pace in the climate negotiations, leading from the front instead of coasting at the back," said Jon Burgwald, Greenpeace Nordic climate campaigner.  

Going for gold in December

The world needs to go for gold in December, and the big question is will Obama be a team player? Now that Obama, Lula and Zapatero all know where Copenhagen is they should have no problem making their way back in December, to lead the talks to a fair, ambitious and binding deal that averts a climate catastrophe

Heads of state have to show up to the climate summit in December if we want a fair and binding climate deal. The promises that are on the table need to improve significantly, and that can not be done by delegations or environmental ministers.

Every country in the world takes part in the Olympics, every country aims to win. No country will be free from unchecked climate change. Unless world leaders agree to avert climate chaos, we are looking at mass starvation, mass migration and mass extinction. Without the required leadership we will all be losers.

Update - 26 activists have been arrested placing other banners around Copenhagen reminding the world leaders they need to come back to Copenhagen in December.

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