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WWF TV Ads Urge Alaskans to Ask Senators to Support Climate Legislation

Alaska's Senators, Who Represent State Hardest Hit by Climate Impacts, Could Play Key Role in Reaching Bipartisan Solution on Climate Change

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, November 16, 2009 – World Wildlife Fund this week launched a 10-day TV advertising campaign in Alaska, urging voters to contact Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and ask them to support climate legislation. Alaska is feeling the impacts of climate change more than any other state, and its Senators could play a key role in reaching a bipartisan solution on the issue.

The ads, which will run in heavy rotation, urge action now to protect the people, wildlife and natural beauty of Alaska from potentially devastating impacts of climate change. While one spot shows the impacts already occurring in the state – including the growing threat to Alaska’s fisheries due to rising ocean acidity – the other features wildlife unsuccessfully trying to call their Senators and asks voters: “Who will call to speak up for those who have no voice in the debate about climate legislation?”

“Alaskans, more than the residents of any other state, can readily see how climate change threatens our way of life, our livelihoods and the natural places we all care about,” said Margaret Williams, director of the WWF field office in Anchorage. “We’re asking the people of Alaska to contact Senators Murkowski and Begich and ask them to vote ‘yes’ on legislation that will help protect us and our natural world from the worst consequences of climate change.”

A trio of senators – John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) – is currently working to forge a bipartisan compromise on climate legislation that could garner the 60 votes necessary for passage. “The support of Senators Murkowski and Begich will be critical to the success of that effort,” said Williams.

Kerry, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is striving to release a blueprint of a bipartisan agreement prior to the international climate negotiations that will begin early next month in Copenhagen. Without that framework, the chances of reaching a deal in Copenhagen, and securing strong commitments from other countries to reduce their carbon pollution, could be significantly hampered.

While WWF’s current advertising focuses on Alaska, the organization’s campaign – ActForOurFurture.org – is national in scope. “Climate change impacts are being felt in every region of the U.S.,” said Williams. “We’re urging all Americans to call their senators and speak up for the future of our world.”

NOTE TO EDITORS:
WWF launched two sets of 60- and 30-second TV spots, one featuring animals attempting to call Senate offices to urge action on climate legislation, and one highlighting the local impacts of climate change in Alaska.

To view WWF’s “Act for Our Future” campaign advertisements in Alaska, visit:
http://www.worldwildlife.org/climate/act-for-our-future/answer-video.html

ABOUT WORLD WILDLIFE FUND
WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change in ways that benefit people and nature alike. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.