Kids Walk to Moon and Back in Climate Campaign
NAIROBI Children in nine countries have walked further than to the Moon and back as part of a campaign to cut the use of cars widely blamed for stoking global warming.
"Children are telling their parents to do more to stop climate change," said Britta Freitag of the German-based Climate Alliance, which handed a suitcase stuffed with 618,315 paper "green footprints" to U.N. climate talks in Nairobi on Monday.
About 100,000 children cut out the shape of their foot on a piece of paper for every mile (1.6 km) they walked or biked instead of driving in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden and Turkey.
The total of 618,315 miles (995,000 km), much of it walking to school instead of being driven, represents more than twice the 250,000 mile distance to the Moon or about 25 times around the Earth.
"It's extremely important that young people get involved," said John Hay, spokesman of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat hosting the Nov. 6-17 talks in Kenya, where some 5,000 delegates are discussing ways to step up the fight on global warming.
Austria was the leading contributor to the campaign with more than 200,000 cut-out coloured footprints. The children's campaign also seeks to improve pavements and educate drivers to be more wary of children crossing the road.
Most scientists say that global warming is being stoked by emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels in power plants, factories and vehicles.