[Dateline: Brussels | Author: UNRIC]
The United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) for Western Europe recently announced a new information campaign called “CoolPlanet2009,” conceived to raise awareness on environmental issues and to mobilize citizens in support of a new climate agreement.
Icelandic singer Björk, who is also leader of a nongovernmental organization called Náttúra NGO, has already signed on in support of the initiative.
"CoolPlanet2009 is designed to inform and engage the European Public, governments and civil society in general”, UNRIC Director Afsane Bassir-Pour told a press conference in Brussels at which Björk announced her endoresement.
A new web site, to be launched early next year, will be the centerpiece of the campaign and function as a “marketplace of ideas.”
Organizers hope to create a detailed event listing based on contributions from individuals throughout Europe who will be invited to visit the site, post ideas and initiatives and learn about what others are doing.
At the press conference, Björk warned that the international financial crisis, which has hurt her home country Iceland harder than most, was not an excuse to lose sight of current goals to decrease carbon dioxide emissions.
She pointed out that, in her view, Iceland had missed out on the industrial revolution and that her hope was that it would skip it completely and go straight to “sustainable hi-tech options.”
The same press conference unveiled a new partnership between UNRIC and the Road to Copenhagen initiative under the leadership of Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission; Gro Harlem Brundtland, United Nations Special envoy on climate change; and Mary Robinson, Vice Chairperson of the Club de Madrid.
The Road to Copenhagen is an interactive initiative using wiki technology aimed at giving business, parliamentarians, NGOs and individual citizens a voice. The site solicits comments and submissions which organizers say will aid in the development of policy contributions to be circulated to the lead negotiators at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Poznan next month.