Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lebanon’s High Society Gets to Know What Climate Change Really is

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[Embargo till 7pm Oct 24]

Lebanon’s High Society Gets to Know What Climate Change Really is

Beirut Takes Part in the Biggest Global Climate Action Ever

Beirut - October 24, 2009: Today The League of Independent Activists – IndyACT with its partners (British Embassy- Lebanon, American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce, and the Green Party of Lebanon) organized a “Green Carpet” Premiere screening for the blockbuster movie “The Age of Stupid” at the UNESCO Palace, which was attended by a big number of high-profile individuals from the Lebanese society.

“The Age of Stupid” is an enormously ambitious British drama-documentary about climate change, and has won several awards including 2009 Best Documentary Movie. The movie stars Oscar Nominated Pete Postlethwaite as an old man living in the devastated world of 2055, watching “archive” footage from 2008 and asking: “Why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?”

The event comes before less than two months to the Copenhagen negotiations for a new climate treaty, and is part of the Global Day of Action against Climate Change that witnessed more than 4500 actions in more than 177 countries. On this day, people from around the world took action from climbers with 350 banners high on the melting slopes of Mount Everest to government officials in the Maldives Islands holding an underwater cabinet meeting to demand action on climate change before their nation disappears. 350 parts per million is the most carbon dioxide concentration we can safely have in the atmosphere. The current CO2 concentration is 390 parts per million. IndyACT took charge of organizing more than 87 actions in this day all over the region.

The “Green Carpet” Premiere was attended by Ministers, Members of Parliament, Ambassadors, Famous artists, CEOs of corporations and other high-profile individuals. The biggest attraction of the event was a clear message to world governments by the Super Star, Ragheb Alama, around the urgency of having everyone working on climate change, and comparing it to a global war for survival. “I will be in Copenhagen, and I with the rest of the world will have our eyes on our leaders to make sure they reach a strong agreement that would save us from this disaster, and put us on a 350 pathway,” said Alama.

“Not one Arab government has adopted the 350 target so far,” said Wael Hmaidan, Head of the Climate Campaign in IndyACT. “Actually none of the Arab government has adopted formally any global CO2 concentration target, making us the weakest region in the climate negotiations”. Despite that climate change will devastate Lebanese and Arab economies and turn the whole region into a vast desert on the long term, most of the Arab governments treat the Copenhagen process with indifference. Earlier this month, the League slammed the Arab governments for this attitude and condemned especially the negative role played by Saudi Arabia to obstruct the negotiations.

IndyACT calls all the Arab governments to meet the aspirations of their citizens by adopting the 350 target, and making sure it gets adopted in Copenhagen.


Notes to editor:

Further information on IndyACT can be found on:

Photos from the event will be available at:

For more information please call:

- Wael Hmaidan, executive director of IndyACT; Tel- fax: +961-1-447192; Mobile: +961-3-506313, email: Or

- Hiba Farhat, communication director of IndyACT; Tel- fax: +961-1-447192; Mobile: +961-3-320318, email:

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