Berkeley Endorsement
of the Kyoto Protocol


Berkeley Endorsement of the Kyoto Protocol

Berkeley, CA (February 9, 2005) -- The City of Berkeley hosted the Tuvaluan Ambassador to the United Nations, His Excellency Enele Sopoaga. Ambassador Sopoaga met with City and University of California, Berkeley officials, as well as local residents during his two-day visit to Berkeley to discuss how global climate change is endangering the existence of the Pacific island nation that he represents. The Ambassador's visit coincided with the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol on February 16.

Berkeley was the first city in the US to endorse the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol, a global agreement to reduce climate altering greenhouse gases, has been ratified by all industrialized nations with the exception of the U.S. and Australia. Since 2005, efforts to move Kyoto forward have stalled and some are now calling for another approach.
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Berkeley's Kyoto endorcement Kyoto Berkeley
KyotoUSA Berkeley reception Enele Sopoaga, Tuvalu’s Ambassador
Martin Wagner, Earth Justice Randy Hayes
Martin Wagner of Earth Justice Randy Hayes of Rainforest Action Network

Berkeley Endorsement of the Kyoto Protocol

A press conference held on Valentine's Day 2005 with His Excellency, Enele Sopoaga, Tuvalu’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Martin Wagner of Earth Justice, and Randy Hayes of Rainforest Action Network speaking of the importance of Berkeley signing on to the Kyoto Protocol and also (2.) Ambassador Sopoaga's comments from a reception held in honor in west Berkeley, February 13, 2005.

KyotoUSA bannerPress Release
• Berkeley hosts His Excellency, Enele Sopoaga, Tuvalu’s Ambassador to the United Nations

• Berkeley marks the implementation date of the Kyoto Protocol and calls for local efforts to reduce the production of climate altering greenhouse gases. Berkeley City Hall, 2180 Milvia Street (rear) on February 14, 2005

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates welcomed the Ambassador’s visit: “We are honored that Ambassador Sopoaga is coming to Berkeley to celebrate our effort to reduce Berkeley’s contribution to the cause of global climate change. Global warming must be addressed and the City of Berkeley has pledged to do its part. As members of the global community, we all share that responsibility.”

Councilmember Linda Maio, a long time advocate for addressing global warming at the local level, stated, “The Kyoto Protocol is an essential first step in reducing greenhouse gases that are being released into the atmosphere. It is deeply troubling that the US will not support the Kyoto Protocol. As the single greatest source of climate-altering greenhouse gases, the US should take the lead. The planet’s entire life support system is at risk through our inaction. Berkeley is taking steps to go well beyond Kyoto emissions reduction targets. Many of our citizens, businesses, and institutions are doing likewise. Because the global consequences are so severe, we urge cities across America to endorse the Kyoto Protocol and to adopt their own greenhouse gas reduction plan.”Kyoto valentine to Planet Kyoto

Ambassador Sopoaga speaks to audiences around the world about how global climate change is affecting the low-lying islands and countries in Africa, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. He is also the Vice Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSOIS). AOSIS is a coalition of small island and coastal countries that share similar development challenges and concerns about the environment, especially their vulnerability to the adverse effects of global climate change.

Ambassador Sopoaga thanked Berkeley and its residents for its effort: “Every contribution counts. Our interest in moving the global economy towards less carbon intensive activity is not self-serving, for the consequences that we are first to encounter will surely be felt by others.”

KyotoUSA, an organization that encourages local action to end global warming, sponsored the Ambassador’s trip. KyotoUSA’s Tom Kelly addressed the need for action: “Cities and their residents can make a significant reduction in the amount of climate changing gases they are producing. KyotoUSA urges U.S. cities to endorse the Kyoto Protocol and to take real action to curb the production of greenhouse gases. By acting individually and collectively, we clean our air and water, improve our health, create economic activity, and leave a vibrant planet for all the world’s children.”

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