Come on John - Sign On!
Auckland Tuesday 18 August - Lucy Lawless and Keisha Castle-Hughes, Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey and acclaimed climate scientist Jim Salinger were among the Sign On ambassadors who today launched a new phase of the successful climate campaign.
Sign On, which aims to generate an unprecedented level of support for the Government to adopt a 40% by 2020 emissions reduction target, has attracted nearly 100,000 supporters in just three months.
Today, ambassadors and supporters of the campaign gathered in Auckland’s Vulcan Lane with a special message for Prime Minister John Key. Each ambassador wore a blue cast on their arm, embossed with “Come on John, Sign On”.
Passers-by were invited to Sign On to the ambassadors’ casts, which will then be worn at high profile events in the lead up to the Copenhagen climate summit in December.
“Sign On will now focus squarely on the Prime Minister as the one person who can ensure New Zealand does the right thing when it comes to climate change,” said Greenpeace Senior Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer. “John Key may think that by announcing a conditional target of 10-20% the issue is done and dusted. I think he’ll find quite the opposite as we get closer to Copenhagen. After all it's only New Zealand's initial offer in the negotiations."
“The scientists say an emissions reduction target of 40% by 2020 is needed. Anything else is flim flam,” said Lucy Lawless. “100,000 Kiwis have already signed on to 40% by 2020 and John Key needs to listen. A government belongs to its people -not the other way round."
The ambassadors held a banner reading: “Join the cast of thousands”, to encourage people to Sign On to the campaign.
The cast concept has its origins in the blue cast John Key had on his arm after breaking it at the beginning of the year. “Many local and world leaders signed John Key's cast; we need that kind of collaboration and teamwork now on climate change,” said Boxer.
“Sign On is all about creating a public mandate for John Key to do the right thing,” said actress Keisha Castle-Hughes. “We are not saying it’s going to be easy, and we do not envy him being the one who has to make the hard call. But the science is clear and the time is right. It’s now or never.”
The most recent climate science assessments state that a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 on 1990 levels for the developed world is essential to give us even a 50:50 chance of avoiding runaway catastrophic climate change.
“We have a long way to go before New Zealand is a constructive player at the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December; 10-20% does not even put us at the LOWER rung of what the science says is required,” said Boxer. “We look forward to helping John Key move towards a more meaningful target between now and December.”