Climate Change Conference
December 2007

Avaaz members join with youth delegates to send a message from the beach at the Bali Climate Change Conference.

Our mission was simple: Bring the voice of the world's people directly into the summit.
This was no easy task, as high level summits like this one are almost designed to be insulated from public opinion. But by the end, few governments if any had not heard our voice.

  • On December 8th we organized a global day of action. Avaaz members in 100 countries organized or participated in local rallies to pressure their national leaders for bold action in Bali.

  • At the same time, we brought 550,000 members' voices inside the conference center with a high-profile "virtual march" of young people bearing world flags representing the nations of Avaaz members that signed our global petition. Not only did the delegates feel the impact directly, but footage and images from the virtual march were broadcast by major television and print media in markets across the globe -- bringing our message back home in capital cities worldwide.

  • At the conference, the Avaaz team helped lead the "Fossil of the Day" awards. These mock awards cast a bright spotlight each day on the delegations that were foot dragging and derailing progress. These awards earned major media attention -- and major embarrassment for the offending nations. Avaaz members then followed up by contacting their governments back home and demanding a better performance. Suddenly, the people were in the game.

For 10 days, the Bali conference proceeded slowly towards consensus. Then, with just a few days left, three countries -- the US, Canada, and Japan -- moved to block the consensus, objecting in particular to any targets for rich countries to reduce their emissions. The US blocked the overall conference, and Canada, which had signed the Kyoto protocol, used that position to block other Kyoto countries from moving ahead without the US. Bali was in danger of deadlock.

This crisis was what the Avaaz network was made for and Avaaz members immediately sprang into action in the countries where rapid pressure was needed the most.

  • In Japan, thousands of Avaaz members were alerted to email Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda overnight, demanding responsible leadership.

  • In the United States, tens of thousands of American Avaaz members co-signed an urgent message to the conference delegates: Please ignore President Bush's team -- they do not represent the American people.

  • In Canada, (and wow did Canadians step up on this!) more than 110,000 citizens demanded that their country stop blocking the talks, supported an ad campaign in Canadian newspapers (shown at left), and called the Prime Minister's office and their members of parliament. A Canadian youth delegation in Bali constantly dogged their environment minister with the Avaaz petition.

  • All over the world, more than 180,000 Avaaz members added their name to a global emergency petition calling on Bush, Harper, and Fukuda to get on the right side of history and support emissions cuts. We delivered these signatures in a full page ad (shown at left) in the special conference section of the Jakarta Post which was distributed to every delegate in Bali. The ad caused a stir at the conference and was widely reported in the media - it told the rest of the world to stand firm against the climate wreckers.

  • Finally, Avaaz coordinated the largest joint climate petition delivery in history, combining petition efforts from nearly a dozen major environmental and progressive organizations totaling over 2,600,000 voices for climate action.

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