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Skiers, snowboarders call for urgent action in Poznan to curb climate

 
Sliding down a ramp covered by snow, a group of Polish skiers and snowboarders performed a series of tricks in a park here on Friday, a move designed to call for urgent and substantial actions against rising temperatures during the Poznan talks on climate change.

Tomek Agriesaliak, a skier from capital Warsaw, told Xinhua that he was here to urge the delegates of the UN climate conference to take actions to prevent snow and ice from disappearing.

"We see our beloved sports endangered, we love snowboarding, we love winter, in our case it is to stable climate change so that we don't have to stop our skiing, that's why we're here," Agriesaliak said.

"We want our voices to be heard at the conference by what we are doing today," he said, calling for a climate treaty to be in place as soon as possible.

A petition, which was also signed by a dozen Olympic and world champions like the U.S. skiers Ted Ligety and Julia Mancuso, was presented to Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki, also president of the Poznan talks.

"From the European Alps to the Asian Himalayas, the U.S. Rockies and the Central American Andes, global warming means milder winters and less snowfall," the petition said, adding that ice and snow are the most vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.

The signatories demand a new global climate treaty which is ambitious enough to keep global warming below the danger-threshold of 2 Celsius. As a first step of global fight against climate change, the petition call on industrialized countries to cut their emissions by 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020.

"Skiers are first-hand witnesses of the destructive power of climate change, seeing glaciers retreat and snowpack disappear with their own eyes," said Kim Carstenen, leader of the World WideFund for Nature (WWF) global climate initiative. The WWF launched the action.

Figures showed that glaciers in the European Alps have decreased by at least 50 percent since 1850. Nearly all glaciers surveyed in Alaska are melting, with thinning rates in the last five to seven years rising to more than twice those seen in previous years.

 

Source:Xinhua
Date:Dec 08,2008