Millions at risk from climate change: act now

Press release - 6 December, 2004
Greenpeace today invited 'climate refugees' to board its giant Ark in the centre of Buenos Aires. The Climate Ark is a stark reminder to governments at the climate talks of the millions at risk from climate impacts and the overwhelming costs in human terms of failing to act to protect the climate. Governments gather here today at the first Climate Summit since Russia ratified the Kyoto Protocol ensuring its entry into force early next year.

The wooden Climate Ark- thirty metres long by seven metres high - was constructed by Greenpeace in Plaza de Republica, next to the famous Obelisk monument in Buenos Aires.

"Climate change is already here and is hitting the poorest nations first and hardest, where people are most vulnerable." said Greenpeace Climate Campaigner, Stephanie Tunmore. "If we don't pull together now to avoid the much worse impacts that await us in the coming decades, there isn't an Ark big enough to deal with the resulting deluge of environmental refugees."

The 10th Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change runs from the 6th - 17th December. World governments will meet to discuss enactment of the Kyoto Protocol,which becomes legally binding in February 2005 - more than seven years after it was first agreed.

"The priority now is to achieve rapid and radical cuts on green house emissions between now and mid-century. We cannot take another seven years to cross the 'Ts' and dot the 'Is' whilst the planet cooks," added Tunmore.

Greenpeace is calling on all participants at COP 10 to take their

responsibilities seriously and lay the groundwork for the urgent, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions needed to protect the climate and save millions of lives currently at risk.

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