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Obama must have a return ticket to Copenhagen

Christian Aid is delighted that President Obama will attend the UN climate talks in Copenhagen on December 9 but is urging him to return to the conference after collecting his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.

‘The world needs President Obama to tear up his schedule and get a return ticket back to Copenhagen,’ said Christian Aid’s senior climate advocate, Nelson Muffuh. ‘His personal leadership could make a critical difference to the talks – and nothing else in his diary could possibly be as important as steering the world off its current path towards climate chaos.’

Christian Aid has campaigned throughout 2009 for world leaders including President Obama, President Hu Jintao of China, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India to attend the Copenhagen talks. It believes that tackling climate change is such an urgent and vital task that national leaders must be personally involved.

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For information and interviews, please contact Rachel Baird on 0207 523 2446 or email rbaird@christian-aid.org

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.

2. Climate change is already depriving poor people in many developing countries of their livelihoods.  Christian Aid believes that it must urgently be tackled, in order to help achieve a world free of poverty.  Our new drive, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end global poverty.  Details at www.christianaid.org.uk

3. Christian Aid is calling on Gordon Brown to press rich countries at the crucial UN climate change summit in Copenhagen in December to commit to at least 40 per cent reductions in carbon emissions by 2020.  It also wants the UK government, along with other industrialised countries, to commit to providing more than 110 billion Euros a year to developing countries, along with technology transfers, to enable them to develop in a low carbon way and adapt to climate change. Together with faith-based development agencies in a number of other European countries, we have launched a climate justice campaign called Countdown to Copenhagen. www.christianaid.org.uk/copenhagen

4. Christian Aid is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, made up of more than 100 organisations with 11 million supporters.

5. Join ‘The Wave’  – expected to be the largest demonstration in support of climate justice the UK has ever seen. On Saturday December 5, just before the UN summit, an ecumenical service will be held in Central Hall, Westminster, by the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster. A carnival-style street procession through London organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition will then take place. Tens of thousands of climate justice campaigners are expected to participate. www.stopclimatechaos.org/the-wave

6. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_