Greenpeace Urges Obama: “Save Our Climate For Peace In The Middle East”

Press release - 6 April, 2009
Greenpeace hung banners displaying an image of President Barack Obama and the message “Save the climate for peace” in English, Turkish and Arabic from the 64 meter high Bosphorus bridge which links Europe and Asia: the message is that peace in the Middle East and Mediterranean is only possible if serious action is taken to protect the climate.


Today, US President Obama will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gul in Ankara, while world leaders such as UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Spanish President Zapatero meet at the international forum, “Alliance of Civilizations” in Istanbul. Greenpeace is urging world leaders to take responsibility for the planet and lead on climate change.

Conflict over oil is currently a major cause of instability in the Middle East region, however, the increasing stress on water resources has already started to fuel tensions between countries such as Israel, Jordan,Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.

Oil consumption drives climate change which is impacting water supplies,  combined these issues could lead to the loss of hundreds of millions of lives.

“If we want to establish sustainable peace in this region,this is the year to act strongly to protect the climate, and President Obama can and should take the lead.” said Korol Diker, Climate & Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Mediterranean. “This is a critical year for strong U.S. leadership on climate and energy, with the deadline for international action set for the Copenhagen climate talks in December.”

Basing its warnings on the findings of the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change, Greenpeace demands that industrialized countries agree a reduction of at least 40% in greenhouse gas emissions from their 1990 level by 2020. Concurrently, developing nations should stop repeating the mistakes of the industrialized nations agree on stabilizing their emissions at 15% - 30%below their predicted emissions for 2020. [1]

Wars related to water are not a hypothesis, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,stated clearly in his speech Water in a Changing World: “Too often, where we need water we find guns.” [2] It is a fact that threatens the security and the peace, especially in the vulnerable regions like the Middle East.

As leader of one of the 20 largest economies in the world,Greenpeace calls on Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to act as an example for the rest of the region and take responsibility by reversing the rapidly increasing trends of greenhouse gases in the country and to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.


Other contacts: Korol Diker, Greenpeace Mediterranean Energy Campaigner, 0 533 567 20 32Yeşim Aslan, Greenpeace Mediterranean Senior Communications Officer, 0 532 324 32 04Beth Herzfeld, Greenpeace International, Media Officer, +44 (0) 7717 802 891

Notes: [1] Full demands for the Copenhagen Summit are available at[2] UN report “ Water in a changing world” page 20. Available at: