Greenpeace Activists Greet G20 Leaders with Massive Banner on the West End Pittsburgh Bridge

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Greenpeace Activists Greet G20 Leaders with Massive Banner on the West End Pittsburgh Bridge

“Road sign” underscores the danger of global warming inaction

WASHINGTON - Greenpeace activists are in the process of
rappelling off of Pittsburgh’s iconic West End bridge with a massive
banner displaying their message to G20 leaders gathering for tomorrow’s
summit. The banner, nearly 80-feet by 30-feet in size, took the form of
a stylized “road sign” that warns of the political maneuvering and
delay that have put a international climate treaty in jeopardy as the
world enters the final stretch on the road to Copenhagen.

The
message comes on the heels of a major address by President Barack Obama
on climate change at the UN, where he warned of the tremendous danger
the world faces from global warming but failed to commit his country to
the science-based action necessary to stop it.

Key
to the meeting here is a commitment by wealthy nations to invest at
least US$140 billion annually by 2020 in order to help the developing
world adjust to unavoidable climate impacts, build a clean energy
economy, and preserve tropical forests. In July, President Obama and
other leaders tasked G20 finance ministers to work on climate finance
and report back on progress at the G20 summit.

“It
is imperative that developed world leaders do not fail again in
Pittsburgh. They must put money on the table to support developing
countries” said Damon Moglen, Greenpeace USA’s global warming campaign
director.  “It is also critical for G20 leaders agree to kick-start
economic recovery through clean energy investment. Both of these
elements are vital to achieve a good deal in Copenhagen and avert
catastrophic climate change. (1)

Economic
recovery is dependent on tackling climate change. If leaders fail to
take the actions urgently needed this year, climate impacts will likely
cost over 20 percent of global output—more than the Great Depression
and both World Wars combined— in addition to the human deaths and
species’ extinction, according to Lord Nicholas Stern, former World
Bank chief economist. (2)

Tackling
climate change and investing in energy would be a fraction of this
cost, just one or two percent of global GDP (3). A recent report from
Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council shows the
renewable power industry could support 8 million jobs by 2030, if
governments switched from carbon intensive energy to renewables. (4)

The
G20 leaders of developing countries must demonstrate leadership in
Pittsburgh, the final time they will meet ahead of the Copenhagen
climate summit, and break the deadlock plaguing climate talks by:

  • Kick-starting
    growth by agreeing here and now to develop clean technologies for the
    future, creating jobs while lowering carbon emissions to keep global
    temperature rise as far below 2 degrees Celsius as possible.
  • President
    Obama, Chancellor Merkel, President Sarkozy and other industrialized
    country leaders must take responsibility and send a strong signal that
    they will put money on the table – at least US$140 billion annually by
    2020 – to support clean energy and other mitigation activities, forest
    protection and adaptation in developing countries.
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Independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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