90 Days To Copenhagen Bike Tour

Makati City, civil society orgs band together to urge US government to set example vs. climate change

Feature story - September 8, 2009
An unprecedented global alliance of civil society organizations, trade unions, faith groups and other organizations concerned with climate change, today made its local presence known by mounting, together with the City of Makati, a bike tour for the climate. The tour ended at the US Embassy, in a symbolic bid to pressure the US to take the lead in signing a global deal during the Climate Change Summit this December, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The US, considered the highest carbon emitter in history, is expected to set an example for other countries in committing to substantial reductions in carbon emissions, and to set up a global fund for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay meets with some 70 bikers from the Makati City LGU and from the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA)-member organizations before the 90 Days To Copenhagen Bike Tour.

Makati City hosted the launching activity in the Philippines of the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA), with a symbolic 90-Day Countdown Calendar to highlight that time is running out for the climate.  Bikers from Makati City and from GCCA member organizations Christian Aid, WWF, NGO Forum on the ADB, Green Renewable Independent Power Producers (GRIPP), Oxfam, and Greenpeace then pedaled off, accompanied by a couple of Electric Jeepneys (E-Jeeps) from GRIPP, to deliver the Countdown to Copenhagen calendars and letters of urgency containing the Copenhagen call, emphasizing the role of industrialized countries in the ongoing negotiations by making stops at the European Commission Delegation office and at the US Embassy.

"We are a mere 90 days away from the climate meeting in Copenhagen. Yet it looks like industrialized countries will not be able to deliver a fair and safe deal on climate," said GCCA Coordinator Francis De la Cruz, Greenpeace Southeast Asia's Public Campaigns Coordinator. "We are afraid that these countries will not sign the deal which requires them to cut their carbon emissions by 40% by 2020 and to grant US$150Billion in aid to poor countries to enable them to face climate change impacts. 2009 is a keystone year, meaning the decisions our leaders make today will directly affect the way we live our lives in the coming decades."

Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay pointed out that "Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines, is recognized by climate scientists as among the most vulnerable and least prepared to face the worst impacts of climate change. It is up to us as individuals, and to our leaders as well, to make the necessary steps now to combat climate change.  We are running out of time!"

Makati City recently launched the EE Makati project in a bid to become Southeast Asia's first Energy Efficient (EE) City, a campaign that seeks to reduce the city's carbon footprint through city-wide measures that will promote energy efficiency in all sectors of society.

The Philippines is also one of the first countries to pass a Renewable Energy Bill into law. "There is no excuse for industrialized countries like the US, which is historically the biggest contributor of carbon emissions, not to commit to substantial reductions and to pay for their emission permits through a fund that supports climate change mitigation adaptation efforts in developing countries," added De la Cruz.

The GCCA also launched its website TckTckTck.org, which embraces a new organizing model, the Open Campaign, where toolsets are made available to organizations and individuals to educate and encourage people to demand action on a fair, ambitious and binding climate change agreement.

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