PM joins thousands in British carbon-cutting pledge

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has put his name to a campaign for a 10-percent cut in Britain’s carbon emissions, his office said Friday, as the list of signatories to the pledge reached almost 11,000.

Brown has signed up to the 10:10 campaign in a personal capacity, his office said, as have all of his senior ministers, the leaders of the main opposition Conservatives and the centrist Liberal Democrats.

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, actor Colin Firth, artists Anish Kapoor and Anthony Gormley and author Ian McEwan have also added their names, according to the Guardian newspaper, which launched the campaign this week.

“There was a real sense that this is the right thing to do, and that this has very powerful symbolism, but you’ve got to put your policy money where your mouth is,” climate change secretary Ed Miliband told the newspaper.

The campaign said it was delighted by the level of political support.

“Who said people power was dead? These politicians clearly recognise that each person in Britain must start cutting their emissions as part of a national war-effort-scale response to the climate crisis,” 10:10 founder Franny Armstrong told the newspaper.

The campaign was timed to coincide with the build-up to December’s climate conference in Copenhagen, where more than 180 nations are due to negotiate an agreement to replace the existing Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.

Organisers admit their target of cutting emissions by 10 percent in one year is “bold”, but say scientists say this must happen in the next 18 months.

“We now know for certain that unless we act quickly to reduce our use of dirty fossil fuels, humanity will face terrible problems in the years to come,” it says on its website, www.1010uk.org.

“Politicians have so far failed to do what needs to be done, so it?s time for ordinary people to step in and show that we?re ready to defend our children?s futures.”

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