September 1, 2005

UK activists club together to beat climate change

LONDON (Reuters) - Leading British environment and aid
groups joined forces on Thursday to lobby for world action to
prevent potentially catastrophic global warming.

Stop Climate Chaos is an amalgam of 18 lobby groups
including Greenpeace, Oxfam, Christian Aid, WWF, Friends of the
Earth and CAFOD which claim to have millions of members and

Its aim is to pressure the British government to beef up
its own plans to curb emissions of so-called greenhouse gases
like carbon dioxide and keep the fight against global warming
at the top of the international agenda.

"We're facing a catastrophe, with hundreds of millions of
people at risk from severe drought, starvation and disease,"
Stop Climate Chaos director Ashok Sinha said. "The time has
come to respond with the utmost urgency."

Britain, as president of the Group of Eight industrialized
nations, did make climate change one of its top two priorities
for the G8 summit in Scotland in July.

But although they did strike a deal in the face of
determined resistance by the United States which has rejected
the Kyoto Protocol to curb CO2 emissions, critics dismissed it
as far too little, far too late.

Scientists predict that the climate will warm by at least
two degrees centigrade by the end of the century, bringing with
it droughts, floods and crop disasters, putting the lives
millions of the world's poorest people in danger.

Environmentalists say drastic action to slash greenhouse
gas emissions must be taken within the next decade or the
planet will be plunged into the apocalyptic unknown.

Stop Climate Chaos' founders said their aim was to keep the
issue at the forefront of the global political agenda.

"Politicians can save millions of lives by keeping the
average global temperature rise under two degrees C," said
Sinha. "That's the target. Our supporters are ready for the