Nairobi, 18 September 2009 - Climate change is here and threatens us all, say Hollywood actors, film directors, environmentalists and politicians in a new UN public service announcement series, launched today.
Jeffrey Nachmanoff, co-writer of blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow, an apocalyptic science-fiction film that depicts catastrophic effects of global warming, has directed the series which urges viewers to sign the Climate Petition (www.sealthedeal2009.org).
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said: "The series is aimed a promoting public awareness and catalyzing action at the highest and humblest level to boost the prospects for a wide-ranging and transformative agreement at a crucial UN climate convention meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark in less than 80 days."
Speaking about the project, Jeffrey Nachmanoff said: "Climate change is such a pervasive and persistent challenge that it's difficult to get people to focus on it constructively. The Copenhagen conference represents a specific moment in time, and is an opportunity for action. My hope is that this campaign will encourage people to increase public pressure on world leaders to seize that opportunity."
The hard-hitting, Seal the Deal! public awareness campaign is being launched at the start of Global Climate Week, 21-25 September and was shot in six locations across four continents.
The videos feature President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives; Don Cheadle -Hollywood actor, film producer and author; Professor Wangari Maathai - Nobel Peace Prize Winner; Midori Goto - UN Messenger of Peace; Phillipe Cousteau - Animal Planet presenter and environmentalist; Saba Douglas-Hamilton - wildlife film maker.
Speaking about the Seal the Deal! campaign, the featured personalities said:
The Honourable Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives: "For the Maldives, climate change is no vague or distant irritation, but a clear and present danger. And what happens to the Maldives today happens to the rest of the world tomorrow. That's why the Maldives is slashing emissions by shifting from foreign oil to renewable energy, aiming to become carbon neutral in a decade. It's time we all Seal the Deal!"
Midori Goto, UN Messenger of Peace: "I am happy to add my voice to those who are concerned about climate change, and I am extremely excited by the opportunities implicit in the commitment of the newly-appointed Prime Minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama. He and his government are advocating a substantial decrease in emissions. We can act together to bring meaningful changes to our lives and to our environment. Let's sign the climate petition and let our voices be heard."
Professor Wangari Maathai, Founder of the Green Belt Movement and Nobel Peace Prize winner: "Climate change is a matter of life and death. Something very serious is happening. Africans - and especially African women - will suffer most from climate change. It's time to Seal the Deal! in Copenhagen."
Phillipe Cousteau, CEO EarthEcho International, Animal Planet host and environmentalist: "I've spent my life working to educate people about our environment and about how human actions have had a catastrophic effect on our planet. Now we have the chance to take action to make a positive difference and correct some of the damage caused in Copenhagen. It's time to Seal the Deal!"
Saba Douglas-Hamilton, BBC wildlife presenter and conservationist: "For me it took a trip to the high Arctic filming polar bears to understand what was going on in my own back yard. In Kenya, we live or die by the grace of the Monsoon and when the rains fail, as they have this year, we suffer terrible drought. Climate change is the great leveler. No matter who or what you are - rich or poor, human or amphibian - it will affect us all. I want to be able to tell my daughter with an open heart that I tried to make a difference when I could. Help us Seal the Deal."
Notes to editors:
1. To download the Seal the Deal! PSAs go to www.sealthedeal2009.org/psa-downloads which will be available from 0800 GMT on 18th September. The PSA is available for free distribution and promotion. Online and print versions will also be available.
2. To sign the Climate Petition, go to www.sealthedeal2009.org
3. Photo opportunity: New York, USA - September 20
As part of the Seal the Deal campaign, supermodel and environmentalist Gisele Bündchen, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, will be available for an unusual photo opportunity, press conference and comment on 20 September 11 am local time New York, ahead of the UN Secretary General's Summit on Climate Change.
For more information please contact:
Media:Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson and Head of Media, on Tel: +254 20 7623084, Mobile: +254 733 632755, or when travelling: +41 795965737, or e-mail: email@example.com
Lucita Jasmin, UNEP Head of Special Events, Mobile: +254 (0) 713 601 244 or e-mail: Lucita.Jasmin@unep.org
PSA specific: Emmakate Young +254 20 762 3528 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Xenya Scanlon e-mail: email@example.com +254 721 847 563 e-mail: Joanna Benn joanna. firstname.lastname@example.org +254 718115668