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Christian Aid walkers march 1000-miles into history



The Cut the Carbon march is an 11 week 1,000 mile trek across the UK starting in Northern Ireland and ending in London on 2 October 2007. The team of 18 ‘core’ walkers come from rich countries and poor to spread the cut the carbon message to companies and politicians.

Early steps

The marchers left Bangor, Northern Ireland, on Saturday, 7 July. Before departure, each of the walkers laced special Cut the Carbon shoelaces into their walking boots and gave up their old laces.

Along the route, supporters will be encouraged to exchange their own branded laces for their old ones. These old laces will then be tied together and handed in to Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a petition.

First-hand accounts

Eight marchers from the developing world are joining ten marchers from the UK. International marchers have come from as far as the Philippines, Kenya and El Salvador.

Some have never seen the sea; others have never been to Britain before. But all have direct experience of the suffering caused by a changed climate in their country - and how it hits the poor the hardest.

Fraser Winterbottom, 50, from Buckingham, said: ‘It makes a huge difference to have marchers from countries like Congo, Kenya and the Philippines to tell us how changing weather is affecting their water supplies and harvests.

‘I understand much better the seriousness of climate change, when I hear how it is affecting them. In the UK we tend to regard climate change as a media debate and the latest fad. In other parts of the world, it’s an issue of survival.’

Tim Jones, from Leeds, who sailed out of Bangor harbour in a boat with Mohammed Adow from Kenya said: ‘Climate change is like eating a slap-up meal and handing the bill to the world’s poor.’ 

Give your support to the marchers on the social networking site, Facebook.

March aims

The marchers want UK companies to publish their carbon emissions in their annual reports and to agree to cut their carbon emissions by 5% each year.

They are also calling on the government to make Britain the first rich country to take action on climate change by committing to a cut in carbon emissions by at least 80% by the year 2050.

This will set an example for other rich countries to follow when they meet at the UN conference on climate change in Bali this December.

How you can take part in the Cut the Carbon march >>

Join Christian Aid's climate change campaign >>

Key dates for your diary

14 July   Bangor, Northern Ireland- the big launch
Contact: Margaret Boden [email protected] 028 9038 1204

21 July  Edinburgh rally with I Count
3pm: Gather at Castle Street for one-mile march to the Meadows.
4.30pm: Start of rally and concert in the Meadows.
Contact: Phil Acott [email protected] 0131 220 1254

4 August  Newcastle rally with I Count
11.30am: Rally starts at St Thomas' Church, Haymarket.
Contact: Kerry Crellin [email protected] 0191 228 0115

11 August  Leeds rally with I Count
3.30pm: Gather at Quarry Hill for a one-mile march to Victoria Gardens.
4.45pm: Rally and concert in Victoria Gardens, outside the art gallery.
Contact: Lindsey Pearson [email protected]  0113 244 4764

27 August  Birmingham rally with Islamic Relief and I Count  
11.30am: Gather at Bradford Street in city centre for a march to Millennium Point.
1pm: Start of rally and concert at Millennium Point (subject to licence).
Please note change of venue from Cannon Hill Park.
Contact: Pete Kelsall [email protected]  0121 200 2283 

8 September  Cardiff rally
2.30pm: Meet on the Taff Trail at Blackweir at 2:30pm to walk to the rally in Cooper's Field (subject to licence).
3.30pm: Rally starts.
Contact: Aled Pickard [email protected]  029 2084 4646

Caerdydd rali
2.30pm: Cwrdd ar Lwybr y Taf yn Blackweir a cherdded i'r rali yn Cooper's Field (dibynnu ar drwydded).
3.30pm: Rali a chyngerdd.
Cyswllt: Aled Pickard [email protected]  029 2084 4646

2 October  London Stock Exchange - march ends
11am: Join the final mile of the 1,000 mile Cut the Carbon march Gather at Potters Fields Park SE1, and in the Riverside area (nearest tube London Bridge).
2pm: Celebration service at St Paul's Cathedral. Free, but tickets required for service.
Call 020 7523 2258 to register for tickets.
Contact: [email protected] 020 7523 2264

Photos credits: Christian Aid/Sue Osmond