LSM Newswire

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Classical Musicians Daniel Barenboim, Barbara Hendricks and Christian Benda Join Kofi Annan s Climate Justice Campaign

Daniel Barenboim, Barbara Hendricks, Christian Benda join "Tck Tck Tck: Time for Climate Justice" campaign
Enhances musical focus of campaign as the recently released musical petition "Beds Are Burning" surpasses 200,000 views on YouTube
Climate Allies already include over 80 musicians, academics, politicians and celebrities who support Kofi Annan's campaign for a fair, robust and binding climate agreement in Copenhagen in December

Three of the world's great classical musicians have contributed unique musical statements in support of global efforts to address the devastating human impact of climate change. Renowned pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, operatic soprano Barbara Hendricks, and cellist and conductor Christian Benda recently became Climate Allies in support of Kofi Annan's "Tck Tck Tck: Time for Climate Justice" campaign.

To the tck of a metronome, the lilt of a human voice, and the crash of piano keys, the video statements by each musician demonstrate that music is an emotionally powerful tool to promote the message of climate justice. The "Time for Climate Justice" campaign has capitalized on the power of music to unite climate justice supporters from around the world. The campaign's newly released musical petition, "Beds are Burning", has received more than 200,000 YouTube views since its launch on October 1, 2009. Everyone is encouraged to become a Climate Ally by downloading the free song or by uploading a brief "Tck" message on the campaign's website (http://www.timeforclimatejustice.org).

Daniel Barenboim emphasized the importance of communicating the campaign's messages through music:

"Music is a medium that transcends cultures, generations, religions and races. [...] Climate change is having an impact on everybody around the world, but the vulnerable and the poor are suffering most. It is my hope that this campaign, with music as an integral part, will give these people a voice on the road to Copenhagen."

Barbara Hendricks referenced humanitarian concerns related to the climate crisis:

"This tragedy is global and demands a global solution [...]. In this tragedy the innocent are the most vulnerable and are the first to suffer from the changing climate. We must have climate justice for all."

Christian Benda's poetic contribution captured the campaign's sense of urgency that time must not be allowed pass by without a firm international agreement to address the impact of climate change on human suffering:

"Time is life...
Time is not timeless...
Tic, tic, tic...
Time is not for sale...
Time is not ours...
Time is lent to us...
Tic, tic, tic..."

Climate justice has, at its heart, the principle that emissions have a price and greenhouse gas emitters must pay. The countries and peoples who will suffer the worst impact of climate change both now and in the future have done the least to cause it.

"Copenhagen needs to be the most ambitious international agreement ever negotiated. The alternative is mass starvation, mass migration, and mass sickness. If political leaders cannot assume responsibility for Copenhagen, they choose instead responsibility for failing humanity."
-Kofi Annan

Barenboim, Hendricks and Benda join a roster of high-profile Climate Allies that includes more than 80 other notable musicians, academics and celebrities who are lending their support to Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General and President of the Global Humanitarian Forum (GHF), in his campaign for a fair, robust and binding agreement at the UN climate talks to be held in Copenhagen this December. The statements by the three musicians, along with those of other Climate Allies, can be viewed on the campaign's YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/time4climatejustice).

Daniel Barenboim
World-famous pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim was born in Argentina to parents of Russian Jewish descent. He is credited for bringing classical music to a much wider audience, and has also devoted much of his time to fostering global peace through music, including co-founding the West-Eastern Divan orchestra, comprised of musicians from Israel, Palestine and other Middle Eastern countries, with the aim of paving the way for a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Under Barenboim's direction, the West-Eastern Divan performed in the UN General Assembly Hall as part of a special ceremony to honour Kofi Annan at the conclusion of his term as UN Secretary-General in 2006.

Barbara Hendricks
Barbara Hendricks is an American-born operatic soprano and concert singer. She is also known for her work as a human rights activist. She has been named Honorary Ambassador for Life by UNHCR and performs special tasks for that organization. In 2001 she performed at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway, at the invitation of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kofi Annan.

Christian Benda
Christian Benda is a renowned Czech cellist, composer and conductor. He performs at international venues as both a soloist and a conductor. He has recorded and collaborated with many famous musicians including Barbara Hendricks.

'Tck Tck Tck Time for Climate Justice' campaign
The Time for Climate Justice campaign aims to highlight the importance of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen in December 2009 and lobby for a fair, robust and binding agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. The campaign is the first major initiative of the Global Alliance for Climate Justice. The campaign was created by Havas Worldwide and was launched earlier this year at the 56th Cannes International Advertising Festival.

Kofi Annan announced the creation of a Global Alliance for Climate Justice at the inaugural Global Humanitarian Forum (GHF) Annual Forum in June 2008. The Alliance is a global movement which aims to raise awareness for climate justice, a concept according to which pollution has a cost and the poor must be supported in adapting to the consequences of climate change.

Climate Allies
Climate Allies are high-profile individuals and members of the general public who feel strongly about embracing the issue of climate justice. Anyone can become a Climate Ally by downloading the campaign anthem 'Beds are Burning' or uploading a "Tck" video, image or text message on: http://www.timeforclimatejustice.org.
See 'Climate Allies' albums for a full list of Climate Allies:
http://www.facebook.com/time4climatejustice
http://www.flickr.com/timeforclimatejustice
http://www.youtube.com/time4climatejustice

Global Humanitarian Forum
Founded in 2007, the Global Humanitarian Forum is led by Kofi Annan and brings together stakeholders, including government, business, international organizations, civil society and the general public, to help solve humanitarian challenges. Located in Geneva, the Forum's current focus is to increase awareness on the human face of climate change and to boost support to vulnerable populations worst affected by global warming.
http://www.ghf-geneva.org

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