Polar bears, fed up with swimming for their supper and the threat of extinction are turning up the heat on day one of the Labour Party Conference just before Gordon Brown’s speech. The polar bears support the UK’s largest climate change campaign - I Count - and are demanding that the Government’s Climate Change Bill focus on the widely accepted 2 degrees C global warming danger threshold and cut CO2 emissions by at least 80% by 2050.
The Government is due to publish details of its proposals for the Climate Change Bill to cut UK carbon dioxide emissions this autumn. The target to cut carbon emissions by 60% will result in 4 - 5 degrees Celsius global warming.
To illustrate their point, the bears will be demonstrating with CO2 reduction Golf Sale signs including:
60% 80% OFF CO2; 80% CO2 REDUCTIONS THIS WAY; EVERYTHING MUSN’T GO!
“Recent research showing that the summertime arctic could be totally free of ice within 23 years is alarming news not only for polar bears, but the rest of the planet. The Climate Change Bill is a great opportunity for Government to set strict carbon dioxide reduction targets for 2050 and send a strong signal to the rest of the world that the UK means business.” Ashok Sinha, Director I Count campaign said: “We need to base our action on the widely accepted 2 degrees C global warming threshold and raise the bar on the CO2 reduction limit from 60% to 80%. Otherwise the Bill will just not do the job.”
If industrialised countries only delivered a 60% CO2 reduction and ignored aviation and shipping then we would be looking at a temperature rise amounting of 40C or more global warming according to Tyndall Centre. Industrialised countries must deliver at least an 80% cut in CO2 if global warming is to be kept between 2 degrees C.
The Stern Review and the IPCC clearly state that an increase of 2 degrees C more will result in severe impacts such as the collapse of the Amazonian rainforest, the onset of irreversible melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the beginning of more than one billion people suffering water shortages. This also means that 15% to 40% of species will potentially face extinction and in southern Europe, crop yields will decline by 20%.
Notes to Editors:
1. I Count is the campaign of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition - showing the public and politicians that all our actions to reduce carbon emissions count. We are the largest campaign on climate change and together we are millions of people and counting. www.icount.org.uk.
Sarah Jenkinson Communications Manager - I Count campaign
Email: [email protected] Tel: 0207729 8732 Mob: 07766682624
2. I Count is calling on the UK Government to:
• Increase the carbon dioxide reduction target, from 60, to 80 per cent by 2050.
• Ensure that emissions from international aviation & shipping are included in the reduction targets.
• Set binding carbon budgets with annual milestones, to make sure that emissions reductions are on track
3. I Count supports the Climate Clinic which will be at the three main political party conferences. Its aim is to push for real political action to tackle climate change by mobilising the UK’s most influential scientists, politicians, industry leaders and environmental campaigners. The Climate Clinic is a coalition of 30+ of the UK’s leading environmental groups, trade bodies and professional societies representing over six million members. For more details visit www.climateclinic.org.uk. For media inquiries contact Jane Vaus 077480 10447.
4. According to latest figures of North America’s National Snow and Ice Data Center, Arctic sea ice has decreased to 4.75 million square miles - 250,000 square miles below measurements taken in 2005. The new research shows that:
- around 40% of the Arctic's sea ice will melted away by 2050, with the floating ice sheets on which polar bears hunt for seals being the first to disappear.
- by the century’s end, the only polar bears left might live in the Canadian Arctic islands and along the west coast of Greenland.
- the polar bear population could be reduced by two-thirds within 50 years.
5. I Count members include: Friends of the Earth, Christian Aid, Greenpeace, Oxfam, People & Planet, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, RSPB, Tearfund, World Wide Fund for Nature - UK (Board members), A Rocha, ACTSA, Action Aid, Airport Watch, BMS World Mission, CAFOD, Campaign against Climate Change, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Carplus, Climate Outreach and Information Network, Come off It, Ethical Consumer, Ethical Jobs, From Greenhouse to Green House, Garden Organic, Glasgow Eco-Renovation Network, Global Student Forum, Green TV, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science, Islamic Relief, Medact, National Commission for Justice and Peace, The National Trust for Scotland, Operation Noah, Plan B, Practical Action, Ramblers, Road Block, SAOCC, Save our World, SCIAF (Scottish Action on Climate Change), Shared Energy, SPEAK, Spokes, Surfers Against Sewage, Sustrans, Take Global Warming Seriously, The Wildlife Trusts, Transport 2000, UNA, Unison, WaterAid, Women's Environmental Network, Woodland Trust, World Development Movement, Youth Against Climate Change.