Tag: China

The Great Climate Wall – ‘I will act on climate, will you?’


In a gesture that signaled more urgent engagement to cool the planet, UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres opened the first international climate conference in this country by sealing the symbolic Great Climate Wall of China, a mosaic wall of 4,000 photos of people from China and around the world who are concerned about our warming planet. 

The executive secretary received a traditional Chinese stamp from 13-year old Ji Mengyang of Tianjin and Chung Jahying, a Chinese youth representative of the Great Green Initiative.  The stamp has the Chinese proverb: ‘With everyone’s determination, we can win anything’. 

Ms. Figueres noted, ‘Addressing climate is not just about governments making the decisions they need to make, it’s about each of us individually having the determination to change our behaviour in our lives. And it’s also about all of us collectively deciding about what kind of stamp we want to leave on the wall of human history.’

This event, sponsored by the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA), Tck tck tck and Greenpeace, showcased the latest example of art for the public interest by the Great Climate Wall’s creator, 26-year-old sculptor and fine artist Joseph Ellis.

An American raised in upstate New York, Ellis has lived and worked in Beijing for five years, during which he became the first Westerner to graduate from the Central Academy of Fine Arts’ prestigious sculpture program.  Greenpeace worked with Ellis two years ago to design an hourglass presented to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton during a climate event at the US Embassy in Beijing. In 2009, Greenpeace commissioned Ellis to execute 100 life-size sculptures of children carved from ice for another climate action.

To create the Great Climate Wall of China, Greenpeace and other NGOs collected snapshot portraits, which Ellis assembled into a mosaic to form a dominant image of the real Great Wall. He printed the impressionist mosaic on fabric, fitted it to supports and assembled the display in side-by-side units to build a tall, colorful barrier with a direct message: ‘I will act on climate, will you?’

The entire project, start to finish, was completed in six days. ‘It’s amazing what you can do in China in just under a week. The people here are incredible and the resources at my disposal never cease to amaze,’ said Ellis.  ‘When we combine our efforts, the chance for change is in our grasp.’

The Great Climate Wall shows just a small portion of the growing global movement of people who are ‘rolling up their sleeves and getting on with it’.  The current wave of action peaks on October 10th with the 10/10/10 Global Work Party with over 7,000 events in 180 countries.  This will be followed by a flurry of activities driven by the development and anti-poverty groups in the GCCA alliance.

The negotiations in Tianjin must make headway and lay the groundwork for breakthroughs on these issues in Mexico this December.  So, dear negotiators, what stamp will you leave this week on the wall of
human history?

Related Newsletter : 

Tianjin 2010 ECO 2

In this Issue

  1. Greetings from Chinese NGOs: Huanying lai Tianjin! Welcome to Tianjin!
  2. The Adaptation Fund Leads by Example 

  3. The Great Climate Wall – ‘I will act on climate, will you?’


Kick-off Briefing on Tianjin Climate Talks

Media/Webcast Advisory
Monday, October 4, 2010

Kick-off Briefing on Tianjin Climate Talks
Previewing the UNFCCC Negotiations

[Tianjin, China] Climate Action Network will host a briefing to preview the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Tianjin, China, on Monday, October 4, 14:30. Panelists will assess the state of negotiations, expectations for Tianjin and the road to Cancun.

NGO experts on the panel include Angela Anderson, U.S. Climate Action Network; Ailun Yang, Greenpeace China; and Raman Mehta, Action Aid India.

What: Preview of the UNFCCC climate negotiations kicking-off in Tianjin

Where: UNFCC Press Conference Room, Meijing Conference Centre, Tianjin. Also webcast live at http://bit.ly/c3bs5W

When: 14:30, Monday, October 4, 2010

Who: NGO experts on UNFCCC negotiations

NOTE: A Chinese language briefing will also be held in the same venue at 15:30.

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 450 non-governmental organizations working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. For more information go to: www.climatenetwork.org <http://www.climatenetwork.org/> .

For more information contact:

Hunter Cutting: +1 415-824-0975



City preps and countries posture ahead of Copenhagen talks

As Copenhagen prepares for December, a strange combination of Christmas lights, clean energy expos, evergreen wreaths, and security barriers have begun to crop up around the city.  It's an exciting time to be in Copenhagen reflecting on a year of intense pressure, activity, and engagement around the world.

Over the past several months (and years), a growing movement has coalesced around the conference here next month and it's hard to believe it's finally almost here.  In June, the sleepy German town of Bonn saw hundreds of activists descend in the rain upon the normally quiet Subsidiary Bodies negotiations at the UNFCCC's home.  Thousands around the world participated in the September 21 Global Wakeup Call.  Then in Bangkok in October thousands marched outside the UNESCAP building calling for climate action.  October 24th saw the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet's history, spearheaded by 350.org, with over 5000 even in 181 countries around the world.

And now, rumors of tens of thousands are looming on Copenhagen, including, by my count so far, at least 15 Heads of State who have committed to attending the talks (although Yvo de Boer said in Barcelona that he expects at least 40).

The last time I wrote, it was a dark and gloomy day in Copenhagen.  But today was beautiful - the sun was out, the weather warm, and the bustle on the street was electric.

The last time I wrote, I was convincing myself, and others, that all was not lost for December.  Now, on this bright and sunny day, I'm as convinced as ever that world leaders can achieve an ambitious outcome in Copenhagen if they try.

Even in the past week, we've seen movement around the world.  The Alliance of Small Island states continue to raise its collective voice of conscience against a weak outcome in Copenhagen.  We've heard that the Chinese would be willing to bring a number to the table in Copenhagen.  We've seen South Korea confirm a voluntary emissions reduction target of 30 percent below business as usual by 2020.  The European Union has said that it would like a binding agreement in Copenhagen.  France and Brazil came out with a "climate bible" - an agreement between two nations to work together on climate change.  This follows Brazil's previous announcement of voluntary emissions cuts of 36-39% by 2020 below business as usual in a "political gesture" some weeks ago.

Even the Danish government, which had caused so many hearts to sink with its proposal of a "politically binding" outcome in Copenhagen, seemed to change its tune...if only just a bit.  The Danish Minister for Climate and Energy, Connie Hedegaard (who will chair the negotiations in December), spoke in a press briefing at the close of the preparatory meeting last week, assuring the world that her aim is a legally binding outcome from the negotiations.

Finally, eyes continue to focus on the US.  In the joint announcement between the US and China, President Obama indicated his team could bring further commitments to the table in Copenhagen.  As Copenhagen creeps towards December, the question remains, will Obama come to Copenhagen?...and if so, will he come bearing gifts or a lump of coal?


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