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10:10

I’ve just signed up to something called 10:10. It’s is a very simple but very clever idea.

10:10 is a campaign that aims to encourage people, businesses and organisations in the UK to sign up to reduce their CO2 emissions by 10% in 2010. That’s it.

It’s about collectively pledging to all do our bit for the planet. It’s simple. It’s positive. It doesn’t have some of the militant negative baggage that many environmental campaigns suffer from. And, for most people, it’s really quite easy to achieve.

But, it also has the potential to be more effective than simply cutting some emissions next year. I’ll explain.

It’s timing is particularly significant because this December in Copenhagen a new global treaty on climate change is being negotiated. The treaty is the successor to the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement where a number of countries agreed to cut their greenhouse emissions. This time around, the idea is to get the whole world to do the same.

The treaty is hugely important as without a significant agreement binding both rich and developing countries to targets to reduce emissions in order to keep temperatures within 2 degrees, we stand very little chance of avoiding something very, very, very bad indeed. What happens above two degrees is terrifying.

Anyway, enough scary stuff. Back to 10:10 and it’s significance to Copenhagen.

If a significant number of British people, businesses and organisations sign up, it does two important things.

First, it gives negotiators a real mandate to go the extra mile. If there is obvious support to cut emissions amongst the public (voters) then politicians have much more of a remit to sign up to tough targets and persuade other rich countries to do the same.

Secondly, it sends an important message to developing countries. The current line coming from governments such as India and China is that they want rich countries to take the lead and start making significant cuts immediately. Currently there are targets for 2020 and 2050 but the scientist say global emissions (which are still growing) need to peak in the next few years and then reduce rapidly. If the UK is seen to be serious about cutting emissions in the short term, this may help to persuade developing countries to agree to some targets of their own.

Essentially, the campaign is about getting ordinary people, who don’t normally get involved in environmentalism, to show they care.

Showing they care is really important. By showing they care, they give the politicians the remit to get an effective deal done. Something that is currently looking very much in the balance.

If enough people sign up then the Government may even consider setting a legal target. Which would be a very strong negotiating tactic at Copenhagen. And wouldn’t it be cool to be able to say that in some small way you effected Government policy that in turn effected a treaty the whole world signed up to?

20,000 people and 1000 business have already signed up. These include a diverse range of well known faces from Kevin McLeod and Delia Smith to Colin Firth and Vivienne Westwood, businesses like Royal Mail, Tottenham Hotspurs and Adams Brewery along with the whole cabinet, shadow cabinet, all Liberal Democrat local councils and Ed Miliband, Environment Secutary. And the campaign launched less than a month ago. The momentum is building.

10:10 is not something for beardy weirdy hairshirt wearing environmentalists. It’s for everyone. Much like planet earth.

So I’d urge you to sign up. Even if you’ve never done anything like it before. Show them in charge that you care. This is the most important issue we will ever face. But if we act together we can easily do something about it. So let’s do it.

Sign up at: 1010uk.org

Go on. And then maybe tell you friends.

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