Kiwis multiply efforts for 350 International Day of Climate Action
Kiwis are coming out in force to celebrate human resilience and creativity on the 350 International Day of Climate Action this Saturday. Over 130 actions in New Zealand have been officially registered for the 350 International Day of Action on October 24, almost twice that of a week ago. The International 350 campaign is the most extensive international climate campaign the world has seen.
This week's global actions began with a splash with the President of the Maldives holding a cabinet meeting underwater on Saturday October 17 to ratify a pledge calling on world leaders to commit to carbon emissions cuts prior to the Copenhagen climate talks. Around the world, people are gathering to consider ways to reduce emissions on October 24th: in Somalia, the drought-wrecked province of Sanaag is cooking food using 350 solar cookers to show that renewable energy is the answer, and to call on their leaders to take action in Copenhagen. In Cambodia, youth are gathering at Angkor Wat to share climate change information with visitors. In Suva, a group of student nurses called Fiji Nightingales Action For Climate Change will gather dressed in white to make an outline of the number '350'.
New Zealanders’ events will kick off the action on the international campaign, commencing over 4100 events across 170 countries. 350 Aotearoa is co-ordinating the day of action in NZ.
A global human '350' will be formed by groups around the world. The Global 350 is 3 being formed in the ampitheatre in Victoria Square in Christchurch; the '5' by the Archaeological Survey of India and the Universal Peace Foundation in New Delhi, and the '0' being formed in Copenhagen.
In New Zealand, the actions registered with 350.org for October 24 span community, school and individual events. 350 surfers will take to the waves at St Clair, Dunedin, and then celebrate at a 350 Spring Festival at the Railway Station. In Christchurch, a massed choir will sing before the bells of the Christchurch Cathedral toll 350 times. In Wellington, a harbour bike ride from Eastbourne to the city centre will culminate in a big festival on the waterfront. In Thames, a mile-long market will host a "Not so Stupid Ideas-fest" where community groups will showcase their climate- & eco-friendly ideas.
On the 24th, Aucklanders will hear the calling of conch shells, drumming and music between three volcanoes: Maungawhau/Mt Eden, Owairaka/Mt Albert, Tatua o Riukiuta/Big King. Auckland cyclists will travel from Britomart and will make a party at the base of Mt Eden from 3.30pm.
"New Zealand's over 130 registered actions represent one of the highest per capita commitments to the safe 350 ppm level and solving the climate crisis. We take our hats off to the mouse that roared!" says Jon Warnow, global co-ordinator for 350.org 350.org has booked two screens in New York’s Times Square to show images of actions as they eventuate.
The NZ Schools day of action is Friday 23rd with over 20 events registered and many others occurring spontaneously. Schools are holding biking and walking events, forming human sculptures and running no-electricity days in the classroom.
Founded by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, 350.org is the first large-scale grassroots global campaign against climate change. Its supporters include leading scientists, the governments of 89 countries, and a huge variety of environmental, health, development and religious NGOs. All agree that current atmospheric levels of CO2 – around 389 parts per million – are causing damage to the planet and to its most vulnerable people, and that government action at the Copenhagen climate conference is required to bring the earth’s carbon level swiftly down.