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Merkel Visit Devolves into Shouting Match November 3, 2009

Posted by Morgan in copenhagen, International Adaptation, tcktcktck.
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“No, you first!”, “Nien, du zuerst!” shouted world leaders Barack Obama and Angela Merkel to each other at a meeting over climate finance.

The meeting, hoped by many to be a breakthrough in EU/US leadership on climate change finance, quickly turned sour when neither leader could make a way through the impasse.  Merkel cited excuses like being tired of leading for so long on climate, and Obama claimed that he was powerless to act without congress.

Despite the Copenhagen negotiations being less than 6 weeks away, the world will continue to hold its breath for good news from this bilateral meeting.

Merkel, Obama Stalling on Climate Finance November 2, 2009

Posted by Morgan in copenhagen, International Adaptation, tcktcktck.
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Press Release for Tuesday, Nov 3rd.

WASHINGTON DC — This morning climate activists greeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s motorcade at the White House as she arrived to meet with President Obama. The giant heads of each leader had a speech bubble reading “No, you go first” in both English and German in front of a banner reading “Climate Finance”.

The activists, part of the Action Factory, say President Obama and Angela Merkel are the two leaders with the most power to lead the world to a global climate treaty.  A major hurdle to a climate treaty in Copenhagen is the inability of rich nations to fund climate adaptation that would help vulnerable countries deal with increased climate threats.

“Obama and Merkel need to lead together.  They keep complaining about a lack of leadership, but when they meet face-to-face, they had better get past that and commit to business,” says Morgan Goodwin, 25, an activist with the Action Factory.

Last friday the EU stated the world needed to commit EURO 22-50 billion (US $32-$78 billion) of public money to climate finance, but refused to commit any money itself.  Not only is that amount short of what’s needed, the agreement is meaningless unless other countries put forward money for the deal. according to the New York Times.

The Obama administration says that its hands are tied until the Senate to passes a bill climate bill.  But advocates point out the actions like committing to attend the landmark Copenhagen summit that Obama can take notwithstanding legislation.

The COP 15 Copenhagen conference begins in 33 days and the final intercessional negotiation in Barcelona is currently underway.  UK PM Gordon Brown echoed calls for more significant funding from the EU, citing the need for €30 to €40 billion a year by 2020, according to the AP.  Brown remains upbeat on the prospects for successful Copenhagen negotiations, an outcome that is partially dependent upon progress at the EU/US summit this week.

The Action Factory is a group of activists working for a strong climate treaty in Copenhagen.  The group has earned earlier attention for calling for a 1.5 degree C warming target at Merkel’s visit with Obama in June.  The group presented President Obama with a plane ticket to Copenhagen on his birthday and recently staged an olympic trials event outside the White House during his trip to Copenhagen to stump for the olympics.

“We need a global climate treaty,” says Julie Erickson, spokesperson for the Action Factory.  “All the activism we do is geared towards getting the US and other major players on board.  Most of these leaders won’t be around in 2050, but our generation will, and we’re scared of what will be left without ambitious action now.”

For further information, please contact Julie Erickson, 413.687.1987, julie@actionfactories.org
Visit our website at http://dc.actionfactories.org


Action Alert: Call Senators for Climate Funding October 20, 2009

Posted by Morgan in climate bill, copenhagen, International Adaptation, tcktcktck.
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Its been a pretty busy week for us.  Running around DC to help the Yes Men with some amazing activism, and helping to get the word out about the Survivaball.  On top of that, we’re helping to run a call-in campaign to senators for stronger international provisions in the climate bill – so that SurvivaBalls aren’t necessary.  Read on and make a phone call!

Right now, US Senators are meeting behind closed doors to negotiate the contents of America’s first serious attempt to address climate change. With critical UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen mere weeks away, the fate of a fair, ambitious, and binding global climate treaty hangs in the balance.
Two key provisions of the bill would fund developing countries’ efforts to adapt to climate change and bypass a dirty-energy economy. These efforts are crucial to the global negotiations [1] — but now they’re under fire from the fossil fuel lobby as it seeks to line its pockets with taxpayer money.

{state}’s Senator {name} is on the Senate Finance committee, which could announce its climate finance proposal any day now. Let’s flood the committee’s phone lines to demand that Congress fully fund international climate adaptation and technology transfer.

Call Senator at (202) 224-3121 now to tell them:

  1. The Senate Finance Committee must allocate 5% of the revenue from carbon trading to international adaptation — to save lives by helping poor countries cope with climate change caused by countries like the US.
  2. The Committee should also allocate 5% of the bill’s revenue to international clean tech transfer, to make a global treaty possible and avoid other countries taking the same high-pollution road we’ve been on.
  3. Funding for climate adaptation and clean tech transfer must be additional to existing aid money — not taken away from urgent priorities like fighting AIDS and providing clean water.

And then report your call by clicking here:


A recent study found that 300,000 people already die every year from climate change, and the health and livelihoods of hundreds of millions more are affected [2]. Meanwhile, over the last century, the United States has emitted more carbon than all the world’s developing countries combined [3]. Developing countries need climate funding both out of simple fairness–and in order to reach the treaty we all need.

A year ago, when Bush was still in office, we could only have dreamed of being so close to a strong global climate treaty that specific provisions of a US Senate bill would be the biggest obstacle. It took millions of calls and letters, thousands of individual meetings and one of the largest days of action the world has yet seen to get us here.

We’re not done yet, but if we can keep these negotiations on track we can start to see the outlines of history — the story we can tell our grandchildren about how we fought for, and won, a planet they can still enjoy.

With hope,

Ben, Taren, Iain, Ricken, David, Morgan, and the Avaaz US Climate Action Factory team