Here is the text of the community affirmation we plan to read at the vigil on Saturday (5.30pm in the Market Place round the Christmas Tree). Do come promptly to get in the picture, which will be beamed round the world to the Copenhagen Summit, where a special vigil led by Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu and former UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson will be held outside the negotiation headquarters in Copenhagen.
If you are coming, please bring a copy of the affirmation with you.
Today, we gather here, and with communities in every corner of the world, to commit to work together to save our planet. The fragile balance of the earth that has always sustained us is changing. We are changing it.
We are causing warming that leads to more warming, icecaps melt and rainforests die, and this cycle could move beyond our control within just five years. Climate change is far away, but close at hand. Many of us have slumbered until now. But for others, climate change is already a living devastation.
- It is the dying light in a child’s eye, as advancing deserts turn a farm to dust, and a family starves.
- It is a home, a livelihood, and a lifetime of memories wiped out by ever-rising floods and bitter storms.
- It is the deadly battle between desperate neighbouring tribes clinging to the last remaining water holes.
- It is a whole proud island nation fleeing, its water poisoned by the sea, its lands sinking beneath the waves.
- And it is the tension of thousands of refugees driven from their lands to cities across the poorest nations.
These are the bitter foretastes of the gathering storm. This is the future that threatens us all – for no-one will be untouched by these ravages, rich or poor, north or south.
But we can save ourselves, by changing the energy that powers our societies. We can stop burning all this oil, coal and wood. We can shift to the natural energy of the sun, the wind, the water. But we must do this all together, and we must do it now.
The decisions we make today will decide the future of humanity. This is why we have come out today to 2000 events in 130 countries across our planet, to light up the world with a call to action, a signal of hope. We call on our leaders to take urgent action and agree a Real Climate Deal:
A real deal must be ambitious. We want a deal that will stop and reverse the growth of harmful carbon emissions within 5 years, and quickly return the world to a safe level of 350 parts per million of carbon in our atmosphere.
A real deal must be fair. We want a deal that commits $200 billion per year to help poor countries do their part to fix this crisis which was not created by them.
A real deal must be binding. We won’t allow empty promises. We want a deal that makes the protection of our planet the law of all lands.
This is the most important deal of our time. Every country must be part of the solution. We will accept nothing less. Tonight we gather as global citizens with common purpose and shared fate. This is a chance to build a world we can be proud to leave to our children and grandchildren.
The hour is darkest before the dawn. Our movement is awake, this moment is ours to seize, the future is ours to build and our message is clear:
The World Wants A Real Deal!