Friday, 30 October 2009

350 Hand's Up!

On October 24th, people in 181 countries came together for the most widespread day of environmental action in history. Over 5200 events took part in the 350 campaign, calling for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis.

My 350 Hand's Up! event, held in Worcester town centre.

People from around the world were asked to organise an action incorporating the number 350 at an iconic place in their community, and then upload a photo on the website. By raising awareness of the significance of the number 350, which refers to the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide we can have in our atmosphere, we can hold our decision-makers accountable to producing a treaty at Copenhagen that is strong, equitable and grounded in the latest science.

I was inspired to join this campaign and organise my own event for the 350 International Day of Action. I came up with the idea of collecting 350 messages from my local community, asking them why they care about climate change and called the project Hand’s Up!

I collected messages from my local rugby team, the Bishop of Worcester, the fire service, children as young as 3 and local MP’s. Peter Luff MP said, “I am delighted to help Katie with her excellent initiative. There is no more pressing issue facing the planet than climate change and I really hope what Katie is doing will draw even more attention to it ahead of the vital summit of world leaders in Copenhagen in December.”

Worcester Warriors, my local rubgy team, invited me to have a photo taken with a couple of their star players at the stadium before a match. They made me feel very short!

I received great support from a number of local organisations and individuals, including Transition Worcester, Worcestershire County Council’s Switch It Off campaign and the local Green Party. It just proves that climate change needn’t be something to be scared or angry about as it can bring local communities together to achieve amazing things!

Katie x