Civil society demands a real deal in Copenhagen

Press release - 12 December, 2009
Half-way through the critical UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen -- where delegates and world leaders are negotiating the future of the planet -- more than 500 civil society groups supported the ‘Real Deal Global Day of Action’ event (1) demanding a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty to avert catastrophic climate change.


In Copenhagen, Greenpeace volunteers from 32 countries along with thousands other protestors peacefully marched from Christiansborg Slotsplads at the Danish Parliament to the Bella Center where the UN climate summit is taking place to urge world leaders to show far greater political courage and commitment to tackling climate change.

“Millions of people are already losing their homes to the rising sea, their crops to worsening droughts and their sources of drinking water as glaciers melt. We cannot squander this opportunity to avert runaway climate change. Our message to the over one hundred and twenty heads of state who arrive next week in Copenhagen is united, it is global, it is loud and it is clear: The time to  unite and change the future is now”, said Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director, who participated in and spoke at the demonstration.

The protestors will deliver seventeen giant ship sails bearing climate messages and images to Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the Unitede Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in the ‘Climate Rescue Station’ at Bella Center.The march will culminate in a candlelight vigil at the UN summit tonight.

Earlier today in Australia,about 80,000 people took part in a ‘walk against warming’, while in Hong Kong, about a thousand people participated in a 3-legged walk. In Beijing drums, historically used in China to sound the time, were played at the Yongdimen gate to remind leaders that time to reach a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate deal is running out.

Despite some key industrialised countries lowering expectations for a deal in Copenhagen, the first week of the talks has been dominated by a determined push for a legally binding agreement by developing countries which are literally fighting for their survival.  

Other contacts: Christina Koll +45 28 10 90 21 Beth Herzfeld, +45 52 65 56 82 (for interviews with Kumi Naidoo) Or tcktcktck: Ria Voorhaar, +45 52 68 95 80 Amrekha Sharma, +45 52 65 07 56Nina Møller, +45 29 32 78 80 (Danish media) Saila Naomi Stausholm, +45 31 36 21 38

VVPR info: For more press material on the Copenhagen event (press the media explorer and to the folder: The 12 December initiative for images and press kit). For images please contact: John Novis, Greenpeace International picture desk on +44 7801 615889 Maarten van Rouveroy, Greenpeace International video on +31 646 197 322

Notes: (1) The World Wants a Real Deal is a mass mobilization with over 3,000 events taking place in more than 125 countries. At candlelight vigils, marches and special events at temporary walls built in key capitals, people from all walks of life will write messages, post photos and sign their names onto the call for a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate treaty. The event in Copenhagen was organized by 12 December initiative as part of a global day of action spear-headed by AVAAZ and 350.0rg, as part of the tcktcktck coalition. So far, the tcktcktck petition has been signed by more than 11 million people from every country in the world.tcktcktck is an unprecedented global alliance, representing hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life. It is made up of leading international, national and local organisations addressing environment, development, poverty, human rights, health and humanitarian issues. It represents faith-based groups, youth groups, trade unions and individuals all calling for a fair, ambitious and binding climate change deal in December 2009 in Copenhagen. The world is ready!