Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Climate change: The 10:10 campaign

The debate over climate change seems to be the same everywhere. Despite strong public support, governments - in hock to large polluters and entrenched economic interests - do little or nothing. And so emissions rise, and the planet burns. If we want action, we have to make the politicians afraid. We have to make them fear for their electoral lives, and understand that they will be voted out on their arses if they keep listening to donors rather than voters.

One way of generating that fear is the 350 campaign, which aims to demonstrate public support for strong action (and risk of de-election) on October 24 this year. Today, the Guardian launched another: the 10:10 campaign.

The idea is simple: cut your greenhouse gas emissions by 10% in 2010. And its achievable: the first 10% is the easiest, and can be made by relatively simple changes (there's a quick guide here, but its targeted at the UK; anyone know of a New Zealand version?).

This is not a substitute for government action, for strong policies to force industrial and agricultural polluters to take responsibility for and reduce their emissions. Instead, it is supposed to spur government action, by demonstrating that there is a significant constituency who care about the issue and will act on it, either directly or at the ballot box as need be. Its about putting the fear into the politicians.

If you're interested, you'll be able to sign up here.