Countdown to Climate Summit arrives in Beijing

Feature story - 24 March, 2009
With only nine months left until the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, Greenpeace China has brought the countdown clock to Beijing. Activists turned one of Beijing's ancient city gates into a gigantic countdown clock marking the time left till the UN climate summit in Copenhagen.

Greenpeace projects its 'Time is running out to stop global warming' message on an ancient city gate in Beijing.

The glowing projection, which spread across the giant gate, read: "Time is Running Out to Stop Global Warming." And although it was a chilly Beijing evening, press and public crowded around the 16th century Yongdingmen gate just south of Tiananmen Square.

"We urge President Hu Jintao to personally attend the Copenhagen climate meeting," Greenpeace China Climate and Energy campaigner Li Yan told media at the press event.

"As the largest global greenhouse emitter, China can and must take a leadership role in tackling global warming," she added.

A three-minute video showing both the devastating effects of climate change -- extreme weather and hunger; the causes of climate change -- coal power stations, deforestation and vehicle emissions; and hope for solutions -- clean sources of renewable energy such as wind and solar, followed the briefing.

As the film ended, a group of migrant workers from Henan province, still wearing their hard construction hats, were attracted by the bright lights. "What film are you showing?" one asked. "Is there anyone famous in it?" "It's called Global Warming," we replied. "And it stars you and your family and everyone you know."

China needs to play a strong leadership role at the UN meeting this year. Greenpeace is calling on Chinese President Hu Jintao to personally attend the Copenhagen Climate Summit and work with world leaders to come up with a binding treaty to fight climate change.

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