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Environmentalists seek to improve public awareness of climate change in Poznan

 
Standing at the entrance to the venue of the UN Poznan meeting on climate change, Su Xiaowei was handing out walnut and nutcracker to every participant, highlighting the key to fighting climate change lies in one's hands and is achievable.

"I came here from my Beijing office ... to tell people that it's time for the world to crack the climate nut," Su, a Chinese American, told Xinhua.

As a program officer of the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF), Su was here to hold a series of side events of the UN climate talks to enlighten people with the significance of fighting the catastrophe of climate change.

"Personally, I am extremely interested in environmental protection and feel delighted to help people improve environmental awareness in China and in the world," she said.

Su's organization is only one of the 400 non-governmental organizations showing up at this year's UN climate conference, which involves some 10,000 participants. The registered participants from those organizations reached 5,413, a number much higher than the 3,700 government delegates who came here to negotiate.

Some members of the Greenpeace, another environmental organization, marked the opening of the talks by unveiling a 3-meter sculpture depicting the earth on the brink of destruction from a "tidal war of CO2."

The sculpture, Planet Earth, shows the fragile planet cowering beneath a giant wave made of wood and coal, serving as a daily reminder to delegates that the stake of climate change could not be higher.

The enormous efforts of the non-governmental organizations were also encouraged by the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) with its spokesman John Hay saying that the conference provides them with an opportunity. "Their function is far more than negotiations," Hay told Xinhua.

Despite the endeavor of those organizations to push for an agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the marathon Poznan talks kicked off with not much outcome expected.

Experts say that countries may not be willing to commit themselves to any promise regarding emission curbs until they have seen how the U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is likely to act on climate change. Insiders say it means that little substantial progress on new carbon cuts can be expected.

However, the British Guardian newspaper said some progress is still possible at Poznan as countries could reach agreement on how to free hundreds of millions of pounds of funding to help the poor nations cope with the adverse effects of climate change. There could also be some advancement on a possible scheme to provide fund for tropical countries to protect forests, it added.

 

Source:Xinhua
Date:Dec 04,2008