Concerned Citizens against Climate Change

Concerned Citizens against Climate Change was initiated in 2008 by Joep Leerssen (Professor of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam), Lucas Reijnders (Professor of Environmental Sciences, also UofA), and Arthur Mitzman (Emeritus Professor of History, also UofA). Our aim was, and remains, to circulate an international appeal against global warming on this site, and thus to mobilize citizens and exert pressure on world leaders to take effective and prompt action against it.

Our appeal - as updated in 2012 - makes three principal points. First, it is later than the EU, the UN negotiators, and many environmental organizations seem to have thought. Several IEA reports (World Energy Outlook) since that of November 2007 have indicated a necessary date for "peaking" of CO2 emissions between 2012 and the middle of this decade, if we are to avoid a catastrophic planetary temperature rise of more than 2°C. Moreover, the exteme weather effects of climate change are now being felt around the world in severe droughts, storms, floods and heat waves. Major cities in Asia and North American were inundated after storms and heavy rains in 2012. Secondly, that the market mechanisms (emissions trading) relied upon in the past have not worked and that there is an urgent need for effective governmental measures. An increasing number of environmentalists now favor a direct tax on carbon produced, carbon consumed and carbon imported. Finally, the public is more ready to make sacrifices for a safe future environment than most politicians assume.

Although we started in The Netherlands, our appeal has circulated in other European countries and in the Western hemisphere. As of November 2012, it had been signed by 1159 concerned citizens in 47 countries, including several lpresent or former members of the European Parliament, as well as of the parliaments of the UK and The Netherlands. It has been sent, with signature lists, to the heads of governments and international organizations that have, or can have, the greatest influence on the struggle to curb green house gas emissions.

Apart from circulating the appeal, we work wherever possible with climate action groups in The Netherlands and internationally. Through our "observer" status in the Climate Action Network-Europe, we keep abreast of important negotiations under EU and UN auspices. This website also keeps an up-to-date file of climate news, the most important aspects of which are communicated to signatories via periodic newsletters.