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Friday, 23 October 2009

350 Is The Magic Number

Tomorrow sees the celebration of the first International Climate Action Day with events planned in over 100 countries around the world.  Climate activists 350.org are joining forces with NGOS including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth in a rallying call to urgent action on climate change, billing it as ‘the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history’.

But why 350?  350 parts per million (ppm) is according to scientists the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Right now, we’re at 390 ppm and rising, so bringing the level down is a real challenge.  350.org believes it is achievable if we can convince world leaders to act now on reducing carbon emissions and switching to renewables.

With the crucial UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen just around the corner in December, many doubt that the politicians will do enough to make 350 ppm a reality.  It is hoped that the International Climate Action Day will generate the publicity needed to make the world’s leaders take notice and do what they can to agree on a climate treaty that is both ambitious and binding.  The visual focus on the number 350 and the creative ways in which images of ravaged natural areas, from forests to glaciers, will be publicly displayed  - on big screens in Times Square and at the UN headquarters - is likely to stick in the minds of politicians and public alike in the run-up to Copenhagen.

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