From: Associated Press
Published September 5, 2007 07:45 AM

Climate petition signed by 500,000

Climate change campaigners have appealed to world leaders attending the APEC summit to take notice of a petition signed by half a million people around the world.


Believed to be the largest worldwide petition on climate change, it contains the names of about 91,000 Australians.


Progressive political group GetUp, which coordinated the collection of Australian signatures, unveiled a hard copy of the petition, which filled 18 cardboard boxes.


The signatures endorse the message: "I want our governments to take sweeping action to dramatically cut greenhouse pollution, shift to clean energy and solve the climate crisis now."


Global protest movement Avaaz began the worldwide online campaign in January, appealing for binding targets on greenhouse gas emissions and a shift to clean energy.


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Avaaz campaign director Ben Wikler said the petition would send a clear message.


"Global opinion is the new superpower," he said.


Governments need to stop debating and start doing.


"Hot air is part of the problem of global warming, not the solution."


GetUp executive director Brett Solomon said the petition was a way of including locals in APEC discussions on climate change.


"We are sending our decision-makers a message that this global problem needs a global solution," he said.


"This message is being delivered in a way that puts the people back in the inner circle of discussions that the 'APEC fence' excludes them from."


Letters had been sent to various world leaders, including those from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and the Philippines, asking them to accept the petition.


Mr Solomon said Prime Minister John Howard had also been sent a letter, but had not responded.


The petition is still open and can be signed at www.getup.org.au/campaigns.


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