European Co-ops launch climate campaign

by GreenWire.org.uk. Published Wed 16 Sep 2009 16:00, Last updated: 2009-09-16
ACT ! to raise profile of climate change

ACT ! – Addressing the Climate Threat – is a new campaign being run by Cooperatives Europe which will launch on 21 September 2009 to coincide with the UN’s Global Climate Week.

The campaign will co-ordinate and promote the activities of co-operatives across Europe to ensure that their voice is heard and that there is an effective response by co-operatives and their members to the threat of impending climate change.

Bob Burlton, the driving force behind ACT ! and also the Chair of Co-operative Financial Services, explains the reasoning behind the campaign.

“We know that many co-operative businesses are already committed to tackling climate change, but they are working on their own. ACT ! is being launched to encourage co-operatives not just to do more but to act together.”

At this stage ACT ! is asking co-operatives in the UK and their members to proceed in two ways:

One, to sign a petition demanding a fair, ambitious and binding agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009 (the petition is available at www.actonclimate.coop) and;
Two, to significantly reduce carbon emissions by signing up to 10:10 via the ACT ! website.

Co-operativesUK is one of the 10 founding businesses of the 10:10 campaign – a national drive launched on 1 September 2009 to get businesses, organisations and individuals to commit to reducing their carbon emissions by 10% in 2010.

In addition, co-operatives in England are urged to join in with the upcoming ‘Greener Together’ project, a programme being run by Co-operativesUK to help members of co-operatives cut their transport emissions, waste and energy use between 10-20%. Co-operativesUK is delivering the ‘Greener Together’ project as part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) England-wide Greener Living Fund.

Dame Pauline Green, Chief Executive of Co-operativesUK and Co-President of Cooperatives Europe, says this is a unique chance for the co-operative movement to come together and make its voice heard.

“There are over 4,800 co-operatives in the UK with over 11.3 million members – that’s one in five of the population. If we all sign up to the petition and pledge to cut our carbon emissions this could have a huge impact.”

The launch of ACT! on 21 September 2009 is timed to coincide with the UN’s Global Climate Week, which begins on the same day.

The week – which overlaps the United Nations Summit on Climate Change on 22 September 2009 – will be marked by activities in over 100 cities to urge world leaders to seal a fair and effective climate agreement at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December.



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