Celebrities to climate negotiators: 'You must do better'

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Oxfam Global Ambassadors, Scarlett Johansson, Gael García Bernal and Djimon Hounsou are among eight major artists and celebrities from across the globe joining Oxfam Tuesday to call on international negotiators to protect the world's poor from climate catastrophe at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico starting next week.

Scarlett Johansson [File photo]

Scarlett Johansson [File photo] 

The open letter to climate negotiators will be formally launched by one of the signatories: ambassador and campaign photographer Helena Christensen at a press conference in Katmandu today, after seeing steps Oxfam is taking to help people survive the changing weather in Nepalese communities.

The letter calls on negotiators to put people at the heart of their discussions in Cancun to ensure a safer future for future generations. The letter describes the opportunity negotiators have to break through the current stalemate by setting up a new global climate fund that is fair and safe and enables vulnerable people, especially women, in poor countries to build resilience to the growing threats of a changing climate.

Progress on climate funding will also help restore trust between poor and rich countries, opening new doors for more constructive dialogue.

To the negotiators, it states: "We know that the destructive impacts of climate change will mean more misery and pain for the world's poor, and increasing instability and insecurity around the world unless action is taken. As you prepare for a new round of talks in Cancun, it is abundantly clear that you must do better. And fast."

Tim Gore, senior climate change policy adviser, said: "Negotiators must remember that they are not merely talking numbers and dollars, but negotiating the lives of poor people already affected by climate change. Climate funding holds the key to unlocking the talks and steering the world to a global solution that tackles the threat and the reality of climate change."

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