About the CCTF The Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) is an independent, non-governmental panel comprised of leading international climate change thinkers, scientists as well as former and current statesmen and officials working to maximize climate action, ³recalibrate² post-Copenhagen efforts in line with latest science and actively engage civil society in the search for appropriate and adequate solutions.

Under the leadership of GCI Founding President Mikhail Gorbachev, the CCTF consolidates the efforts of organizations like the Nobel Peace LaureatesForum, the Club of Madrid and the Club of Rome in bringing about urgent and radical climate action.

CCTF representatives are present at many international conferences and annual climate summits to follow developments in the climate negotiations and provide their comments and expertise back to the CCTF blog

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It is time to take action

by Mikhail Gorbachev

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Mikhail Gorbachev

The multi-faceted crisis that has hit the world shows with a renewed sense of urgency how tightly the key challenges of environment, development and security are intertwined.

Climate change gives global stability and security existential proportions that can shock the foundations of modern civilization. It threatens to unleash multi-million migrations and exacerbates the problems of growing poverty, social inequality, water, energy and the food crisis.

The latest climate science is deeply disturbing. It is the last wake-up call. All the excuses and justifications for inaction, as well as pseudoscientific arguments should be finally discarded.

We must take action to save our planet. This should be a common task for the governments, the business and scientific communities, civil society as well as each and every one of us. Each of the stakeholders in this noble cause has a role to play and opportunities that are offered in the process but our world is such that the main burden of responsibility lies with the states and their institutions.

Only the state can enforce strict standards and norms without which the efforts to tackle climate change are meaningless. Only the state can mobilize resources and funds to encourage and deploy breakthrough technologies. Only the state can provide adequate support to those who find themselves particularly vulnerable in the context of the changing climate. And this support will be definitely needed.

Unfortunately, the states today are all too often acting in the opposite direction: spending hundreds of billions on weapons, a trade that has blown into a corruption scandal on a global scale, subsidizing the past century’s fossil fuel-based industries, not the energy sector of the future, saving money on social programs instead of investing in human capital.

State representatives are gathered now in Copenhagen to try and find a way to address climate change. Whether we have a strong and convincing start or a weak and hope-shattering act is yet to be seen.

There have been recently encouraging announcements coming from the US, China, India, Japan, Russia and the EU. But more is urgently needed. The latest science says emissions need to be cut by 45 to 50% by 2020 and almost completely by 2050. This is far more ambitious than what is currently on the negotiation table.

Green Cross International, the environmental NGO that I have led for over 15 years, believes that we need to take action both individually and collectively. That is why it has launched The Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) in order to consolidate the commendable efforts of prestigious and respected organizations like the Club of Rome, the Club of Madrid, Nobel Peace Laureates Summit, and other NGOs, as well as prominent scientists, economists and experts. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his support for this initiative.

The Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) has already shared with several state leaders its vision for ambitious climate action guided by the latest science and not by a lowest-common-denominator compromise watered down by vested interests.

Achieving meaningful progress will require the exercise of political will at the highest levels and I am glad that almost 100 heads of state and government decided to attend Copenhagen in person.

But political leadership no matter how determined is insufficient without the backing of the people. It is now time for you to make your voice heard and give your political leaders the support they need for far-reaching climate action. Where political leadership is missing it is up to you to voice your discontent, this is the foundation of democracy. It is your individual and collective responsibility to make democracy work.

The emergence of new communication channels and ‘social networks’ provides an opportunity to make your voice heard. A platform has been set up under that allows everyone to communicate his or her opinions to relevant political leaders. Here at Wikia Green I am asking you to help other people like you help us to collect the information that citizens need in order to take effective action now.

Civil society has already played a huge role in changing people’s mindsets and in exerting pressure on political processes. But it is now time to go much further and to turn this into a fully-fledged participatory process in making and implementing the decisions that will shape the world for decades to come. The CCTF website contributes to this possibility.

Last October, my family and I celebrated the first birthday of my first great-grand daughter. She is one of those who will inherit the planet from us. We, who are past our life’s meridian, bear responsibility for the disastrous emergency state of our planet, our home. Therefore, we cannot sit idle. We must take action to assure our grandchildren and great-grandchildren a future.

Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, as the Founding President of Green Cross International he is heading the Climate Change Task Force (CCTF).

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