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Climate Chaos: Hottest Issue, Coolest Event of the Year

PRESS RELEASE

STOP CLIMATE CHAOS: 25,000 gather in Trafalgar Square, London
‘I Count’ event: Saturday 4th November, Trafalgar Square

More than 25,000 people packed Trafalgar Square and closed surrounding roads today to make their voices count, each one calling for urgent action on climate change.

The carnival-like event was the first of its sort for ‘I Count’ - an unprecedented and rapidly growing public campaign which brings together a huge range of supporters from the Women’s Institute members to Razorlight,

Johnny Borrell, lead singer of Razorlight, who performed live on stage said:
“Today is all about showing that together we make a difference, together we can send a message, together we can stop climate chaos and together we count.”

Tens of thousands of ‘I Count’ supporters travelled from across the UK, some by bike, canoe, on foot and even in biofuel green taxis to highlight what many believe to be the greatest man-made threat ever. Surfers Against Sewage arrived wearing wetsuits and carrying surf boards.

Miranda Richardson, KT Tunstall and Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool were among those who demanded that Tony Blair take real political action in response to the millions of people worldwide already cutting their personal carbon counts.

KT Tunstall, singer/songwriter, said:
“I was proud to be part of this event. We have to tell the men over there in Parliament to do something now. They have to show respect for our beautiful planet.”

To help negotiate an international deal to keep global warming to less than two degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, the UK government needs to lead by example by introducing a Climate Change Bill in this month’s Queen’s Speech. This must deliver annual cuts in UK carbon dioxide emissions, and assist developing countries to adapt to climate change and access clean energy to meet their development needs.

Ashok Sinha, Director of Stop Climate Chaos said:
“Tony Blair must listen to the urgent demands of over 25,000 people in Trafalgar Square today and millions across the UK. Now he needs to make his government’s actions count too, by introducing a new law to reduce carbon emissions year-on-year.  He must take a lead on the global stage to keep global warming below a two degree Celsius increase. If we all come together we can stop climate chaos - together we are irresistible.”

People can join the ‘I Count’ campaign by signing up online (www.icount.org.uk) or texting ‘I Count’ to 84424.

Others appearing on stage to show their support were TV presenter Simon Amstell, comics Rufus Hound and Rob Newman and President of Islamic Relief Dr Hana El Banna.

‘I Count’ is the campaign of Stop Climate Chaos a unique coalition on climate change, bringing together environment and development organisations, unions, faith, community and women’s groups. Members include Friends of the Earth, RSPB, Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, Tearfund, Christian Aid, the Women’s Institute, People and Planet and UNISON.  The ‘I Count’ campaign was launched on Wednesday 11th October with the unveiling of a 4ft ice sculpture of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s head encased around a first edition of Penguin book, ‘I Count: A Step by Step Guide to Climate Bliss’.  The campaign has since gained rapid support from many leading figures and high profile supporters concerned about climate change.   

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Notes to Editors:
1. For further information and interview or image and VNR requests, please contact:

Alison Blower Media Coordinator Email: [email protected]
Mob: 07967 698928

Alex Grace - Media and Artist Liaison Email: [email protected]
Mob: 07779 614 054

3. SCC members include: A Rocha, ActionAid, ACTSA, Airport Watch, BMS world Mission, CAFOD, Campaign against Climate Change, Carplus, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth, From Greenhouse to Green House, Garden Organic, Greenpeace, Islamic Foundation for Ecology & Environmental Sciences, Medact, Operation Noah, Oxfam,  People & Planet, Plan B, Practical Action,  Road Block, RSPB,  Save our World, Speak, Surfers Against Sewage, Sustrans, Tearfund, UNISON, The Wildlife Trusts, Take Global Warming Seriously, Transport 2000, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, UNA, UNISON, Women’s Environment Network, Woodland Trust, World Development Movement and WWF.

   4. The I Count Campaign calls on the UK government to provide:-
• Action internationally: ensure that global greenhouse gas emissions are irreversibly declining by 2015.
• Action for justice: deliver assistance to developing countries to adapt to climate change and give access to clean energy to meet their developmental needs.
• Action in the UK: introduce a Climate Bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 3% per year. 

5. Images are available now at: www.icount.org.uk/media

6. VNR is available from 16.30 at: www.largeblue.com/extranet/green.tv/, the password to access this is 'scc', all in lowercase text.