Washington, D.C. (October 8, 2010) – Over 7,000 events are expected to take place in 185 countries for the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, making the 10th of October the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history. “Politicians may still be debating climate change, but citizens are getting to work solving it,” said Bill McKibben, renowned environmental author and founder of 350.org.
Global Work Party highlights include:
• In Timor-Leste, the President of the Parliament, Fernando Lasama Araujo, will join hundreds of Dili residents in a mangrove planting.
• In the Maldives, President Nasheed installed a set of solar panels on his roof on October 7 to kick off the weekend of action.
• In the United States, over 2,000 events are planned, from parishioners weatherizing their church in Atlanta to a hip-hop show at a community garden in Oakland, California.
• In China and India, over 300 universities will join 10/10/10 as part of the Great Power Race, a student clean energy competition.
• In Afghanistan, students will be planting hundreds of trees in a valley outside of Kabul.
• In Congo, refugees will be planting a “Forest of Hope” outside of Goma, home to thousands of refugees from regional conflicts.
• In Mexico City, the Mayor will sign a commitment to cut carbon emissions 10% over the next year and join thousands for a solar-powered festival in Chapultepec park.
• In Russia and Croatia, organizers have signed up nearly 10,000 schools to plant trees on 10/10/10.
Just in time to give the Global Work Party a White House-sized boost, the Obama administration announced this morning that they are going to put solar panels on the First Family’s living quarters, returning to a tradition begun by president Jimmy Carter and abandoned by Ronald Reagan.
350.org founder Bill McKibben urged President Obama to install his new set of solar panels back on September 10 as part of the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, a day when millions of people across the planet will be getting to work on climate solutions.
“The White House did the right thing, and for the right reasons: they listened to the Americans who asked for solar on their roof, and they listened to the scientists and engineers who told them this is the path to the future,” said McKibben. “If it has anything like the effect of the White House garden, it could be a trigger for a wave of solar installations across the country and around the world. Obama’s not the only world leader taking the challenge. On Thursday, Maldivian president Mohammed Nasheed installed panels on his official residence, and on Sunday 7000 communities around the world will engage in similar projects.”
350.org estimates that nearly 100 solar panels will be installed around the world as part of the Global Work Party. In the Namib Desert in Namibia, a rural education center is installing six panels to try and go carbon neutral; on Robbin Island in South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, the museum complex is launching a process on October 10 to go solar; Iraqi students are working to put solar panels up at the University of Babylon; a group of friends in Las Cruces, New Mexico is putting up panels on a local homeless shelter; and much more.
The work parties, which range from solar installations to tree plantings, are designed to send a clear message: citizens are getting to work on climate solutions and so should their politicians.
“People will be doing very practical things for the Global Work Party,” said McKibben. “But they also will be sending a pointed political message. When they put down their shovels, many will pick up their cell-phones to call their leaders and say: ‘We’re getting to work, what about you?’”
350.org will be collecting hi-res photos and video of work parties around the world and can connect media to event organizers on every continent.