8 December 2007


Delegates and scientists from around the world attending the opening of the biggest-ever climate change conference earlier this month, urged rapid progress in building a new international pact by 2009 to combat global warming – or risk economic and environmental disaster.

Some 10,000 people from nearly 190 countries have gathered on the resort island of Bali for two weeks of UN-led talks that follow a series of scientific reports this year which concluded that the world has the technology to slow global warming, but must act immediately.

The Fourth Assessment Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was released in November.

Among its conclusions were that climate change is "unequivocal", that humankind's emissions of greenhouse gases are more than 90% likely to be the main cause, and that impacts can be reduced at reasonable cost. It also states that climate change may bring "abrupt and irreversible" impacts. Such impacts could include the fast melting of glaciers and species extinctions. "Approximately 20-30% of species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk of extinction if increases in global average temperature exceed 1.5-2.5C (relative to the 1980-1999 average)," the summary concluded.

Other potential impacts highlighted in the text included:
- between 75m and 250m people are projected to have scarcer fresh water supplies than at present
- yields from rain-fed agriculture could be halved
- food security is likely to be further compromised in Africa
- there will be widespread impacts on coral reefs

AVAAZ is organizing an online virtual global march to Bali to demonstrate to world leaders the depth of concern over this issue and to demand they take immediate and decisive action on climate change.

Get-Up is also organizing a similar petition to be sent to the Australian Government.

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