Desmond Tutu presents 512894 signatures on the "It's Time to Change" petition to Yvo de Boer.

Posted by: Linkesh Diwan on

Today, Nobel Laureat Reverend Desmond Tutu presented more than half a million signatures on the "Countdown to Copenhagen" petition to Mr Yvo de Boer, in a function held at the City Square, in Copenhagen.

Despite temperatures hovering around zero, a huge croud of people clapped and cheered as Reverend Desmond Tutu entered the stage. Reverend Tutu delivered a rousing speach. Liking the climate campaigns to the protests against the Berlin Wall and the marches against apartheid, Reverend Tutu said that we must carry on "demonstrating, and the injustice of climate change will end."

Leading the crowd in calling "NO to the injustice of climate change," he stated the position of non-annex 1 countries simply and sweetly: "Ok, Ok, we [non-annex 1] want to develop. But we don't want to develop the way in which you [Annex 1] developed, causing the ozone layer to thin, causing droughts, causing floods... but it will cost a little money."

With comedy and poignancy, Reverend Tutu touched on the amazing disparities in the pledges of support made by Annex 1 nations, and their expenditures in other arenas. While Annex 1 nations have forwarded a draft text that pledges 2 billion dollars of money to the adaptation fund, "just think of the billions and billions that is being spent on arms... the billions they are paying to destroy their brothers and sisters."

Reminding us that we are on the winning side, that we have Right on our side, that we have Justice on our side, and that God is on our side, Reverend Tutu expressed our campaign as a prayer to God, us saying "Come on God, Do something! Well God says 'Yea, I will do something, and I will have all of you be my partners, working with me, to make this a better world.'"

"You and I are going to make this world a better place for all of us... We are sisters and brothers, we belong to one family, the human family."

Reverend Tutu expressed that God must be happy with us in Copenhagen: here are people finally doing something good!

The contents of the petition requires developed nations to reduce their emissions by 40% on 1990 levels by year 2050, limit temperature rise worldwide to a maximum of 2 degrees celsius, and all nations to create a legally binding framework in Copenhagen, at the COP15.

Concluding his speech, Desmond Tutu called out to politions to join the winning side, and make this world a place of joy, laughter, without hunger and poverty. After all, he pointed out, if we loose, there is no survival for any of us!

After his speech, Desmond Tutu was met by Yvo de Boer onstage, to deliver the 512894 signatures on the "Countdown to Copenhagen: Time for Climate Justice" petition to him.

"On behalf of all of the people of the world, on behalf of all of these wonderful people, we say, this is the number of people who signed, and say they know you are a smart man. You are, aren't you? Well you persuade them to be sensible like you."

In his acknowledgement speech, Yvo de Boer said that 40% on 1990 levels was a little too modest, that he believed that 80% was achievable. Pragmatically, he then adressed the crowd, telling us that if this is to happen, we need to make our polititions know that it is what we want, we need to make it ourselves.

The function was followed by a live concert by Outlandish. I've never heard of them before, and though I'm not a fan yet, I would like to hear more of their music.