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  • Gibraltar supports global 350 campaigns on climate change

    The ESG wishes to acknowledge the effort made by a few to ensure that Gibraltar supported a key moment in humankind’s history.


    Saturday the 12th December was not only memorable because Gibraltar won the most coveted world beauty pageant. It was also highly significant because it marked a day when over 3,000 vigils took place all over the world calling upon world leaders meeting in Copenhagen to take the right decisions and give the world, a real deal, in terms of meaningfully tackling global warming. (The win in South Africa and ensuing traffic and street activity meant that perhaps more people caught a glimpse of the climate change vigil than otherwise might have done on a normal Saturday evening on the Rock.)


    Locally, close to 100 people gathered at Convent Place and participated in our own candlelit vigil which was recorded and will now form part of a global website campaign carrying hundreds of images reflecting the human face of the 350 campaign. The gathering included members from different organisations (including Foe Gibraltar, GONHS and the Scouts), as well as prominent members of our community. Several eye catching and powerful banners were on display.


    Bishop Caruana opened the event and had strong words to say about the importance of climate change and need for action- he was followed by various ESG speakers, Bernard Linares (ex Government Minister), Scouts representative and a member of the Youth Enterprise Scheme.


    Once the statements had ended, the crowd stood firm and talked about the issues involved in climate change, both locally and globally. The evening was graced by spontaneous singing by the Scouts and the creation of two beautiful symbols in candles with the help of Eddie Lucas and Tom Finlayson and many helpers. One of the symbols was of the world marking Gibraltar’s location prominently. The second and main symbol was of a giant 350 number, the title of this global campaign, which continues to reverberate in the corridors of Copenhagen with activists pressing for real action : for a fair, ambitious and binding treaty.


    The ESG wishes to acknowledge the effort made by a few to ensure that Gibraltar supported what is a key moment in humankind’s history.

    Gibraltar joins thousands around the world

    This Weekend, Citizens in Over 130 Countries Unite with Candlelight Vigils to Call for Progress in Copenhagen Climate Talks


    Gibraltar: This weekend, on the 12th of December, millions of people will hold rallies and candlelight vigils in over 130 countries to call for progress in the Copenhagen climate talks. The events, coordinated by hundreds of civil society groups under the banner of the TckTckTck campaign, will be held from Kinshasa to Kathmandu and in Copenhagen itself.


    Location: Convent Place Time from 6pm When: 12th December 2009


    “Following on from the first global action on 350 that we supported in Gibraltar in October, we will also be joining with people around the world this Saturday to remind politicians that for many, ending the climate crisis is a matter of survival. We need a real deal in Copenhagen, not greenwash,” said Janet Howitt from the ESG, one of the groups supporting the event in Gibraltar.


    These demonstrations will draw a line between success and failure at the ongoing Copenhagen Climate Conference by calling for a 3-point “Real Deal”. Supporters are asking for all countries to urgently sign a climate agreement that is:


    a) Fair – by securing $200 billion in climate financing for poorer countries
    b) Ambitious – by peaking global carbon emissions by 2015, and returning atmospheric carbon dioxide levels below 350 parts per million


    c) Binding – legally enforceable At a special vigil at the culmination of a giant march in Copenhagen on Saturday the 12th, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu will be joined by former Irish President Mary Robinson and other climate movement leaders to deliver a global citizens’ message to negotiators and leaders. Tutu will urge leaders to take bold action, reminding them that “millions of people, especially the very poor, are already suffering due to changing weather patterns, droughts and floods. None of us will be immune from climate change – we are all in this together and there is no time to lose.”


    At many vigils, citizens will be forming the number 350 out of candlelight. Many scientists, climate experts and progressive national governments are now saying that 350 parts per million is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. The number 350 has become a symbol of climate action since a massive global day of demonstrations organized by the environmental group 350.org on October 24th.


    Gibraltar will also be creating a symbolic image of 350 at a candlelit vigil opened by the Bishop of Gibraltar and asks the community to show support and please come along as from 6pm where various statements will be read out and thoughts shared.


    Bill McKibben, US environmentalist and founder of 350.org says, “People of every faith, rich and poor, on every continent have spoken clearly in the last few months, rallying around the 350 target. Ordinary citizens understand the science. Our leaders have no excuse for not producing a deal that meets the scale of the crisis.”