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Voice of the People Crucial in Fight Against Climate Change, UN Chief of Staff Tells World

20:00 (CET), 16 December, Copenhagen, Denmark: As the lights were turned back on at the conclusion of the special Earth Hour Hopenhagen, UN Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar, told the city that Copenhagen could usher in a new era of hope.

“Climate change may be bigger than each of us but it is not bigger than all of us,” said Vijay Nambiar.

The citizens of the UN climate summit host city turned off their lights for an hour in a special Earth Hour which recalled the global event in March of this year in which hundreds of millions of people from 88 countries and 4000 cities and towns Voted Earth for decisive action on climate change.

WWF Director General James Leape and 10-year-old Anne-Katrine Bisgaard Håkansson from Denmark handed the UN Chief of Staff a shimmering globe, The People’s Orb, which contains a 350-gigabyte mosaic of the hopes, dreams and experiences of people from every continent of the world, from diverse communities in desert, forest and by the sea, to create a global mandate for action on climate change.

The People's Orb is a symbol of the collective effort of all the major climate campaigns, including Seal the Deal, tcktcktck, Raise your Voice,, Hopenhagen and Vote Earth.  Unveiled in Sydney, the Orb travelled to Copenhagen via The Climate Express and was delivered to the host city by honorary custodian, UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner.  A series of citizen and official custodians have cared for and showcased The Orb in the lead up to its presentation to the UN Chef de Cabinet.

Vijay Nambiar told the international gathering of families, politicians, media and mayors in Copenhagen City Hall Square that the dedication to action on climate change by the people of the world has given him hope.

“The size of the challenge has not daunted your commitment,” he said.

“With this Orb - with the voices you have raised - you are urging your leaders to protect people and the planet. Together, let's make Copenhagen the place where the world came together to usher in a new era of hope."

Mr Leape said the time to act is now.

“Action on climate change has been debated for far too long,” Mr Leape said.

“Time has run out.  WWF - and the other climate campaigns - join Vijay Nambiar in his urgency for a solution - our world leaders must deliver an ambitious and binding agreement this week in Copenhagen,” he said.

“It is imperative that on 27 March 2010 – Earth Hour 2010 – the people of the world will feel confident that we are heading in a positive direction to protect our planet and make it a safer, cleaner, healthier future for all.”

About Earth Hour's Vote Earth
Earth Hour's Vote Earth campaign builds on the call for action on climate change provided by millions of people, companies and communities during Earth Hour.  The campaign aims to provide a platform for the people of the world to deliver world leaders a mandate for the right decision to be made at the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009.  Find out more about the campaign at Earth Hour's Vote Earth is organised by WWF.

About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

For images and media material, please visit the WWF COP15 Media Centre: