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A 'mega climate petition' calling on countries to shift to 100% renewable energy by 2050 has gathered more than 3 million supporters ahead of COP21. The UN climate conference begins on 30 November (Monday) in Paris, bringing together more than 120 world leaders in an attempt to reach a universal agreement on global warming.
Ahead of the climate summit, a petition organised by campaign group Avaaz.org has gathered 3,174,764 signatures. Calling on global leaders to phase out carbon pollution to zero by 2050, Avaaz has described the campaign as "the most important petition we've ever done".
Avaaz campaign director, Iain Keith, told IBTimes UK: "Paris can deliver in a meaningful deal, with national commitments from all countries, a credible plan that includes financial help for developing countries and a long-term goal that can send an immediate signal that the world is getting off fossil fuels."
Having launched the petition well in advance of the climate summit, the pressure group has already had the opportunity to deliver the signatures to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, French President Francois Hollande, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Campaigners said that the petition encouraged a G7 commitment to phase out fossil fuel use by the end of the century.
Avaaz is also supporting the People's Climate March which will be taking place on the eve of the Climate Summit opening. Thousands are expected to march in cities across the globe on Sunday (29 November), however, the march in Paris had to be cancelled following the terrorist attacks on 13 November. Avaaz has said that it is, therefore, even more important for others to join in marches taking place in other cities.
"It's more important than ever that citizens take to the streets wherever they are and show their leaders overwhelming public support for a deal in Paris that puts us on course to a 100% clean energy future, safe from the ravages of climate change," said Keith. "Climate change threatens everything we love and Paris is the best chance we've had this decade to turn the world away from its current collision course with climate catastrophe."
Avaaz is now looking into the possibility of delivering the 3 million-strong petition at the opening of the climate summit. The group remained confident that despite the worldwide focus on Islamic State (IS) terrorism at the moment, the climate negotiations would not be overshadowed. Keith said that the aftermath of the Paris attacks would give governments a chance to show that they can all work together even in "times of terror and despair".