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BMJ lends its support to 10:10 climate change campaign

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3520 (Published 02 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3520
  1. Helen Mooney
  1. 1London

    A campaign to encourage public sector organisations, private sector companies, and the public to reduce carbon emissions by 10% by 2010 has been launched by the team behind The Age of Stupid, a film about climate change.

    The 10:10 campaign, which has the backing of the BMJ, has been launched to encourage people to show the government that they have got a mandate to reduce carbon emissions.

    The aim is to obtain as many signatories as possible by 21 September and to urge the government’s climate change and energy secretary, Ed Miliband, to commit the country to the 10:10 target ahead of the next set of international talks on climate scheduled for December in Copenhagen.

    The campaign team’s hope is that if Mr Miliband signs up to 10:10 it could help to break the deadlock in negotiations on the reduction of carbon emissions.

    The national campaign also hopes to drive high profile individuals to commit to cutting their own carbon emissions by 10% in one year.

    Several high profile individuals and organisations have already signed up. These include Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the actors Gillian Anderson and Pete Postlethwaite, and Nicholas Stern, former head of the Government Economic Service and author of the influential report on the economics of climate change, published in 2006.

    Ten NHS organisations, including University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, South West Strategic Health Authority, and Bristol Primary Care Trust, have also given their backing to the campaign and have committed to the 10% reduction next year.

    David Pencheon, director of the NHS’s Sustainable Development Unit, which is also supporting the campaign, said, “The NHS is working hard to implement its own carbon reduction strategy, which was launched by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit with government backing in January 2009.

    He added: “The strategy, Saving Carbon, Improving Health, aims to reduce carbon emissions by 10% between 2007 and 2015; 10:10, on the other hand, is a very focused one year campaign across all sectors.”

    The Sustainable Development Unit has helped identify some innovative healthcare organisations throughout the country to show that it can be done. “It is a very ambitious target to deliver at the same time as delivering the day job, but behaving sustainably is part and parcel of delivering high quality care now and for the future,” said Dr Pencheon.

    A campaign spokesman said that if Mr Miliband committed to the target it would allow the UK to “step forward to make the cuts deemed necessary by the science and could potentially break the impasse at the UN negotiations which have long been blocked by political wrangling over who will jump first.”

    He said, “Cutting 10% is very easy for the vast majority of individuals or families. It’s at the level of lagging your loft or taking one less flight. And we will be clear in all our messaging that this is not about ‘sacrificing.’ It is about making positive changes for both the wider world and for yourself.”

    Meanwhile the UN’s secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, is calling for millions of signatures to be added to his organisation’s online Seal the Deal! campaign, in a bid to persuade governments around the world to commit to action on climate change during the UN’s global climate week, which begins on 21 September (www.sealthedeal2009.org/).

    “Now is the time for people in every corner of the world to urge their governments to seal a fair, effective, and ambitious deal in Copenhagen,” he said.

    Notes

    Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3520

    Footnotes