UN environment agency names ‘Climate Heroes’

4 June 2009 – An adventurer who plans to sail the Pacific in a boat made of plastic and a team of innovators trying to figure out how to take plastic out of the ocean are among “Climate Heroes” named today by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Timed to mark World Environment Day, observed on 5 June, the nomination of the heroes is part of UNEP’s Adventure Activism for the Environment programme designed to raise public awareness of “hot topic” issues in advance of an environmental summit in Copenhagen in December.

“Climate heroes are people who take a special initiative, who go beyond the normal responsibilities that we have, who pioneer with unusual initiatives and ideas,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP’s Executive Director. “They show the kind of commitment, enthusiasm and understanding of how important it is that we all become heroes in order to address climate change.

Among the heroes are Roz Savage of the United Kingdom – known for her 2006 solo row across the Atlantic Ocean – who will row across the Pacific Ocean and walk from London to Copenhagen to encourage people to walk more, drive less and use less fuel.

Other heroes are David de Rothschild of the United Kingdom and his team, which plan to sail the Pacific in a catamaran made out of reclaimed plastic bottles, and Project Kaisei, a California based group which is studying how to capture plastic waste in the ocean, detoxify it, and recycle it into diesel fuel.

Also ahead of World Environmental Day, the General Assembly yesterday unanimously passed a resolution, expressing its deep concern about “the possible security implications of climate change.”

The 192-member body asked all the major UN organs, including the Security Council, to intensify their efforts to address the challenge, and requested Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to submit a comprehensive report to the Assembly at its next session on the possible security implications of climate change.

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