Leaders, thinkers, doers, and prominent
global figures spreading the 350 movement:
“Civilization is what grows up in the margins of leisure and security provided by a workable relationship with the natural world. That margin won’t exist, at least not for long, as long as we remain on the wrong side of 350. That’s the limit we face.”
Bill McKibben is a writer, activist, and co-founder of 350.org. A scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, the first book for a general audience on climate change.
“As chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, I cannot take a position because we do not make recommendations. But as a human being I am fully supportive of [350ppm]. What is happening, and what is likely to happen, convinces me that the world must be really ambitious and very determined at moving toward a 350 target.”
Rajendra Pachauri is the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has also served as director general of the The Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi, and the chancellor of TERI University.
“I am completely behind the 350 campaign. A shift from industrial agriculture to ecological, local food systems would be the biggest single step to move towards 350 and a safe climate, while simultaneously solving the food crisis.”
Born in India in 1952, Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental leader and thinker. Shiva has fought for changes in the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. She has assisted grassroots organizations all over the world, and is a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“Climate change is a reality. Life depends on a sustainable environment. With no world, there can only be nothing–no birds, no animals, no trees, no us. That’s why getting involved in 350.org is so important - it’s an effective way to take action to turn around the climate crisis.”
Desmond Tutu was Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 until 1996 and is the 1984 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. Since his retirement, Tutu has continued to work as a global activist on issues pertaining to democracy, freedom and human rights.
Dr. James Hansen
“If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm.”
Dr. James Hansen heads the NASA Institute for Space Studies in New York City. Since the late 1970s, he has worked on studies and computer simulations of the Earth’s climate, for the purpose of understanding the human impact on global climate. Dr. Hansen is best known for his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue.
“As a resident of a Small Island Developing State, I am acutely aware of the dangers of global warming. Some countries are closer to the frontlines of global warming than others, but we are all affected by this global problem, which requires from us a global response. Getting to 350 means saving our planet and ourselves from a disaster of our own creation.”
Ms. Thompson has become one of the recognized leaders on environmental issues of the Small Island Developing States. She also became a key voice to raise awareness of global warming in Barbados - a country where the challenges of climate change and conservation are of particular relevance.
President Mohamed Nasheed
“Now the world has an opportunity to come together and prevent the looming environmental catastrophe. That opportunity is called Copenhagen. And let’s be very frank about this: Copenhagen can be one of two things. It can be an historic event where the world unites against carbon pollution, in a collective spirit of co-operation and collaboration. Or, Copenhagen can be a suicide pact. The choice is that stark.”
Mohamed Nasheed is the President of the Maldives. He is the founder of the Maldivian Democratic Party, and has pledged that the Maldives will be carbon-neutral within 10 years, making it the first country in the world to do so.
“Climate change is not an isolated environmental issue. It touches every part of our lives: peace, security, human rights, poverty, hunger, health, mass migration and economics. If we are to preserve the planet for future generations, we must reach 350ppm – the most important number on earth. Otherwise, we will reach the point of no return.”
Bianca Jagger is a prominent international human rights and climate change advocate. She is the Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador, Member of the Executive Director’s Leadership Council of Amnesty International USA and Trustee of the Amazon Charitable Trust. For approximately 30 years, Bianca Jagger has campaigned for human rights, social and economic justice and environmental protection throughout the world. For her work in these areas, Jagger has been the recipient of many prestigious international awards, not least of which is the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “alternative Nobel prize”. Others include the United Nations Earth Day International Award, the Amnesty International USA Media Spotlight Award for Leadership and the World Citizenship Award from The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. She also received the World Achievement Award from Mikhail Gorbachev. In January 2009.
“Why 350? We must return to the earth’s natural balance!”
David T. Suzuki PhD, co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, is an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster in Canada. He is well known to millions as the host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s popular science television series, The Nature of Things.
“Getting to 350 means changing everything about our global economy. It means providing clean-energy jobs to rewire every corner of the world and catalyzing a global transformation built on principles of equity and opportunity.”
Van Jones is working to combine solutions to America’s two biggest problems: social inequality and environmental destruction. In 2007, he founded Green For All, a new organization working to build a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.
“This is a great initiative, which all those who care about the future of humanity should support. Only by holding down concentrations of greenhouse gases to this level can we be sure of preventing the runaway climate change which threatens our ability to feed ourselves.”
George Monbiot is a journalist, columnist, author, academic, and environmental and political activist in the United Kingdom who writes a weekly column for The Guardian newspaper.
“Climate change is already dangerous. As the Arctic melts and the Small Islands sink below a rising sea, the world cannot stand immobile. Inuit and all Peoples have the right to live safely in their culture. As a shared humanity, we must back away from the precipice. 350 is a good target to head towards.”
Sheila Watt-Cloutier is a Canadian Inuit activist. She has been a political representative for Inuit at the regional, national and international levels, most recently as International Chair for Inuit Circumpolar Council. Watt-Cloutier has worked on a range of social and environmental issues affecting Inuit, and has most recently focused on persistent organic pollutants and global climate change.
“We can not solve the climate crisis alone. It is a challenge that demands teamwork on an international scale–that’s what I do on my polar expeditions, and that’s what 350.org is doing to build a global movement for a better climate policy and a more sustainable future.”
Renowned polar explorer Will Steger has launched Global Warming 101–a series of educational polar expeditions to the High Arctic and Antarctica led by Steger and dynamic young explorers from around the globe. The teams will travel by dogsled and kite ski to the front-lines of global warming at the farthest reaches of the planet.
"Reaching 350 ppm is a matter of living by my values—which include both “love your neighbor” and “try not to wreck every blooming thing on the planet while you’re here.”
Barbara Kingsolver’s twelve books of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction include the novels The Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible. Translated into more than 20 languages, Kingsolver’s work has won a devoted worldwide readership and many awards.
“It is dangerous – and nothing but a very mean compromise – if governments call for a minimization of global warming from the current 0.7°C to 2°C. This would present us with a threefold increase in global warming and consequently an acceleration of climate catastrophe. Instead, 350ppm is the only acceptable aim, and we can attain it with a switch to renewable energies.”
Hermann Scheer has been a member of the German Parliament since 1980, and is also an author, policy innovator and global leader in the field of renewable energy.
“IPCC states a 450ppm scenario as holding a 50% chance of averting climate crisis (more than 2(C rise) – you wouldn’t board a plane that has 50% chance of crashing would you? We need a secure and sensible target. We need 350ppm.”
Deepa is a co-founder of the Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN), a movement aimed to mobilize youth across India into taking action against climate change. IYCN has seen growth from 3 to over 205,000 people within 4 months of its initiation. Her other work has involved being the Indian Coordinator for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition for the faith climate campaign, strongly engaging youth from Hindu, Christian and Islamic backgrounds.
“Carbon-neutral prosperity is possible. We can design and build a sustainable society within the time we have remaining. The matter hinges entirely on having the will to build it–which is why the work of 350.org is so important.”
Alex Steffen has been the Executive Editor of Worldchanging since he co-founded the organization in 2003, as the next phase in a lifetime of work exploring ways of building a better future.
Dr. Karl-Henrik Robèrt
“Climate change is a symptom of a much larger problem: we need to learn the rule book for sustainability and redesign our society accordingly. Going back below 350 implies reversing the systematic increase in emissions and I fully support the campaign in raising awareness of the system conditions for sustainability”.
Dr. Karl-Henrik Robèrt is one of the world’s foremost sustainability experts and founder of The Natural Step, an international non-for-profit research, education and advisory organisation. A surgeon by training and a prominent cancer scientist in Sweden, Dr Robert is well-known for leading an international movement to define and apply science-based principles for sustainability and a framework for strategic sustainable development.
“Humanity’s ecological footprint is at an unsafe level. By achieving 350 ppm, we can return to safety.”
Mathis is co-creator of the Ecological Footprint and has worked on sustainability issues for organizations in Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia and Australia, and has lectured for community groups, governments and their agencies, NGOs, and academic audiences at more than 100 universities around the world.
“A crisis, they say, is a terrible thing to waste. And there is more than one crisis. First, is the crisis in our climate–we must figure out how to get CO2 down to 350 ppm in a matter of years. Second, is the crisis in our way of life. In the developed world, people suffer from anxiety and depression in epidemic proportions. In the developing world, over one billion people have no access to clean drinking water. We must do better. We have a chance to find an improved way of life, both for ourselves and for our planet. Let’s take it.”
Colin Beavan, aka “No Impact Man,” is an author, and most recently, a film star of the brand-new movie “No Impact Man.” The film, and book of the same title, tells the story of his bold experiment to live in New York City making no net negative environmental impact. Beavan was named one of MSN’s Ten Most Influential Men of 2007 and was named an Eco-Illuminator in Elle Magazine’s 2008 Green Awards.
“We are already experiencing global climate change. This campaign will make 350 ppm a goal for the whole world. Every nation on the planet must be included in the upcoming global treaty, yet it will be the developed countries’ responsibility to make the quickest and most drastic emissions reductions. No country can remain outside of this agreement that is our last opportunity to save the planet from this looming catastrophe.”
As a child, Aridjis would often walk up a hillside near his home to watch the migrating monarch butterflies. As he grew older logging thinned the forest. This and other events in his life caused him to co-found the Grupo de los Cien, the Group of 100, an association of one hundred artists and intellectuals that became heavily involved in trying to draw attention to and solve environmental problems in Mexico. Aridjis has published 38 books of poetry and prose, many of them translated into a dozen languages.
“The hardest challenge of tackling global climate change is conveying the massive threat that the scientists recognize to the rest of us, going about our daily lives. 350.org begins to make the crisis concrete.”
Paul Loeb is an American social and political activist, who has strongly fought for issues including social justice, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and civic involvement in American democracy. Loeb is a frequent public speaker and has written five books and numerous newspaper editorials.
“In short, a real 350 – translated into a worldwide project to rewire the globe with clean energy – could provide an enduring pathway to peace – peace among people and peace between people and nature.”
Ross Gelbspan is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and the author of a number of influential books on global warming, including The Heat is On and Boiling Point. Ross is also an influential leader in the United States climate movement and a respected educator and speaker.
“Sustaining 9.3 billion people on the planet, ensuring a prosperous future for inhabitants of poor countries and simultaneously protecting the species that share the globe with Homo sapiens will only be possible with an energy revolution. The climate crisis is our biggest collective challenge, and it can only be solved if we stick to ambitious objectives – like 350 ppm.”
Claudio Angelo is one of the principle science communicators in Brazil and has been writing about climate change for almost a decade. He is the Science Editor at the Folha de S. Paulo, one of Brazil’s most prominent newspapers, and his book “Global Warming” is one of the first (and few) popular books about the subject in the country.
José María Figueres
“During the last ten thousand years we have enjoyed a period of unprecedented climate stability. Today, as a result of man-made activities, climate is changing. The consequences of these changes represent the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. Going forward, we will do three things with respect to Climate Change: mitigate, adapt, and suffer. Our option consists in choosing the mix. If we exercise leadership and act now, we will mitigate aggressively (reduce carbon emissions), adapt less, and suffer little. If we go on with a ‘business as usual attitude’, we will mitigate little, need to adapt more, and suffer profoundly. Let’s rise to the challenge with courage and determination, and reduce our global carbon footprint to 350 ppm! We can do this by joining efforts between the North and the South, and business and governments!”
José María Figueres is former President of the Republic of Costa Rica (1994-1998) and currently CEO of Concordia21 in Spain. He is conceptualiser and member of the executive board of the Global Observatory initiative that works towards the achievement of a comprehensive agreement at COP15.