'Climate movement' is next mass campaign

The NGO sector is drawing up plans for the next mass mobilisation of the general public, which will attempt to tackle the urgent problem of climate change

Buoyed by the success of Make Poverty History and, before that, the Jubilee Debt Campaign and the Trade Justice Campaign, climate-change campaigners aim to convince millions of people to pressure governments into taking action to halt global warming. The campaign, which will launch on 1 September, will also encourage people to make behavioural changes in their daily lives.

While it will be delivered through a broad-based coalition, including development agencies, faith-based groups, trade unions, women's groups and even sports clubs, the campaign has its genesis in five environmental organisations - Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the RSPB, WWF and People & Planet.

According to People & Planet director Ian Leggett, the idea is to "get climate change out of the environmental box" and show that if it is not halted, the consequences are dire for everyone.

The group, which has been meeting since last year, has adopted the working title of 'Climate Movement', but is seeking a snappy slogan similar to 'Drop the Debt' or 'Make Poverty History' with which to market the concept.

Ashok Sinha, co-ordinator of the Jubilee Debt Coalition, has been brought in as campaign director. He said the plan was for the campaign to be at least as big as Make Poverty History, despite the lack of a "climate change equivalent of Comic Relief or Richard Curtis".

Tailored messages will be disseminated through the coalition members to their own supporters about ways to put pressure on the Government and businesses.

- See Newsmaker, page 21; Opinion, page 24; Editorial, page 22.

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