See news from:

Livecasts, tweets, maps, youtube and ....

Blog: copenhagen09

Half a million signatures for climate justice

Archbishop Desmond Tutu raised his voice for the poorest people in the world as he handed over half a million signatures for climate justice to the UN.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu handed over half a million signatures to Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Yvo de Boer at the Town Hall Square Sunday morning. Photo: Hanne Marie Molde

By Hanne Marie Molde, [email protected]

“Let us say no to injustice and let us say no to letting the poor people pay for something they did not cause, ” world famous archbishop Desmond Tutu said as he handed over 500 000 signatures from “Countdown to Copenhagen” to the UN at Town Hall Square Sunday.

“Let’s make the world a better place”

At the event, organized by DanChurchAid, Tutu focused on the poorest people in the world who are the most vulnerable to the consquences of climate change. The Archbishop and Nobel Laureate from South Africa told that around 300 000 people in the world are dying because of poverty caused by the emissions that have come from rich countries, and he demanded the developed countries to do something about it.

“If we do not solve this problem, nobody is going to survive. We are all winners or we are all loosers. Let us all join the winner team and make this world a better place,” he said.

Watch Desmond Tutu’s speach here (Filmed by Pamela Juhl for Copenhagen Voice and The UpTake)

Moral crisis in the way

Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Yvo de Boer was smiling when he entered the stage to receive the collected signatures from Desmond Tutu. He thanked all the 500 000 who had signed the petition, and he also thanked the millions more who did not have the opportunity but he assumed would have liked to have signed this petition.

“Inside the conference center where I have just come from, people are fretting over a financial, economic and industrial crisis. However, you know that it a moral crisis that is standing in the way for us adressing an environmental crisis,” he said.

“We are only going to get an agreement if you tell the world leaders that you want it to happen. Let your voices be heard because Copenhagen is the one chance we have to get this right.”

All the Norwegian bishops were there

People from all around the world were gathered to watch Desmond Tutu handing over the signatures. However, the great majority were Norwegians. 1200 activists and all of the Norwegian bishops arrived by ship the same morning just to participate in this event.  Olav Skjevesland, one of the 11 bishops in Norway, told how important this issue is.

“In Norway we can see how the Artic ice is melting down, our glaciers are shrinking, and some scientists say that the fisheries will also be affected by climate change”, he said.

“Norway has a lot of money through the oil industry, and I believe that we have an obligation to do big things and pay for the poor countries. We can and we should afford it”.


Facts: Countdown to Copenhagen

Countdown to Copenhagen is a mass movement that demands the world’s leaders to help deliver a fair and effective deal for the world’s poorest at the climate summit in Copenhagen. They have collected 512 894 signatures for a fair climate deal, and Sunday they were handed over to Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Yvo de Boer by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The petition is organized by DanchurchAid.

You must be logged in to post a comment.


It's done - COP15 was from 7-18 December 2009 - and did not reach the expected results. We (the student newsroom and lab) worked from 6-15 December - and reached more than we expected.

See ALL our stories here: