Take the plunge,Gordon! Oxfam campaigners in Wales give PM a push in the right direction

Kenyan pastoralist studying in Cardiff lends his suport and calls on PM to act on climate change.

Oxfam Cymru campaigners gathered on the edge Cardiff Bay in a bid to persuade Gordon Brown to take the plunge on climate change. Campaigners are pushing Brown to attend the critical UN meetings taking place in Copenhagen in December.

The campaign, Here & Now – Yma & Nawr calls on Brown to lead the way in the UN climate talks to make sure everyone gets a fair and safe deal to enable them to fight the human cost of climate change.

Oxfam is already seeing the impact of climate change in the communities its works with in countries around the world. Millions of people are struggling to cope with its consequences. They are losing their homes, livelihoods and lives.

The forecast is worse: a new report from Oxfam predicts that in six years time, the number of people affected by crises related to climate change is set to rise by 54 per cent to 375 million people. This threatens to overwhelm the humanitarian aid system.

Aida Pesquera from Oxfam in Colombia and Acting Head of Oxfam Cymru, who launched the Here & Now campaign in front of the Welsh Assembly, said:

“ Climate change is about people, and people in Colombia are already suffering and losing their livelihoods because of it. It really is no exaggeration to say that, at this meeting of the UN in December, Gordon Brown and other world leaders have the opportunity to save lives and deliver a better future for everyone, not just the wealthiest countries.”

Gregory Akall, is a pastoralist from Turkana district, the north-western region of Kenya, is studying MA International Journalism at Cardiff University. He has seen and felt the impact of climate change on his community and the people there, and is adding his support to Oxfam Cymru’s campaign. He said:

” Climate change is an issue which is close to my heart as a Turkana pastoralist, my family and my community have been severely affected by the changes in weather patterns pushing them to edge of existence.

“I have seen the human cost of climate change, and it’s becoming clearer to the world. Tens of hundreds of Turkana pastoralists have been killed and thousands displaced as a result of inter-tribal conflicts, triggered in part by extreme weather events such as droughts. My community is heavily dependent on food aid after losing all their livestock, to the long-running droughts.

“The nature of climate change is changing. It does not choose rich or poor people, developed or developing countries but it will affect people and countries differently.

“Climate change is no longer a scientific or environmental issue but it is dependent on politics. That is why I am urging the UK, as one of the world’s richest countries to take action and change its attitude Here & Now. How often is there a real chance to save the world? Political leaders meeting in Copenhagen this year have the power to choose, whether they attempt to or not. So it’s crucial that Gordon Brown ensures that they grasp this opportunity before it’s too late.”

People can join the campaign and petition Gordon Brown directly by going to http://www.oxfam.org.uk/hereandnow or texting ‘Now’ or ‘Nawr’ to 87099. Standard network rates apply

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