The eight most economically powerful countries in the world - the "G8" - are responsible for over half of the gasses that cause global warming. Help Avaaz (a community of global citizens who take action on the major issues facing the world today) grow their petition to ensure that these countries produce real action toward climate change at the June summit. Add your voice to the call for change!
Here's how Avaaz campaigner Iain Keith, who presented the petition, describes his experience:
When my turn came to speak to the Environment ministers, I was so nervous that I thought my voice would quiver. But I wasn't just speaking for myself--I was there on behalf of 100,000 Avaaz members, and I couldn't let them down. I walked to the microphone, took a deep breath, and said, "Dear Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, m y name is Iain Keith and I'm here on behalf of the 1 Million members of Avaaz. Avaaz is a new online community where global citizens can go to take action on the biggest issues facing our world. I have here, in my hands, a petition from our members who would like to tell you that they are scared of climate change, and the lack of action being taken. The countries represented in this room are responsible for the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions. As ministers of the environment you are in an excellent position to persuade your leaders to make tackling climate change the number one priority for the next G8 summit. Our members humbly request that! you accept this petition as a reminder of your responsibilities, and to help persuade your leaders."
I handed the petition to the German environment minister, Sigmar Gabriel. The meeting continued, with speeches on other issues from other organizations. I wondered if all of the work had been worth it.
And then came Minister Gabriel's closing speech.
I could hardly believe it: he was saying that climate change must be the number one priority at the G8 summit. And he was holding our petition.
"Thanks to increased pressure from people around the world," he said, "the tide is turning. When an international NGO can gather this many signatures" (here he holds up the petition), "we cannot ignore this problem anymore... As Environmental ministers, we have a responsibility both to the environment and our voters to make sure our heads of state act!"
And a few days later, German Chancellor and G8 President Angela Merkel vowed to put climate change at the top of the agenda for the G8 Leaders Summit.
We did it!!