The Co-Operative Becomes First UK Business To Mobilise Customers To Support Climate Change Protest March

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The Co-operative today (14 September) underlined its position as the most radical business combating climate change when it began mobilising its members and customers to take part in the UK's largest ever climate change protest.

This mobilisation of consumers by The Co-operative and is just what is needed if we are to make The Wave the biggest ever demonstration in support of action on climate change.

The Co-operative today (14 September) underlined its position as the most radical business combating climate change when it began mobilising its members and customers to take part in the UK's largest ever climate change protest.

In what will be the largest mobilisation of consumers in recent times, The Co-operative will charter trains and coaches to take thousands of its customers and members from around the country to 'The Wave', a march being organised by The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition on Saturday 5 December. The Wave coincides with the start of the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference being held in Copenhagen.

The Co-operative's mobilisation is its most radical contribution yet to combating climate change and is motivated by the belief that the Copenhagen discussions may be the last chance for the world to agree a robust deal.

Paul Monaghan, Head of Social Goals and Sustainability at the Co-operative Group, said: "As a business with commercial interests in farming, food and finance, we are deeply concerned that an ambitious and fair deal be agreed in Copenhagen.

"We have been pioneering our support for renewable energies but recognise that ultimately anything that we do is a drop in the ocean unless we a robust legislative framework is in place.

"Previously, our members have successfully lobbied government for a meaningful Climate Change Act and targets for 2050. Now we are calling on the UK Government to take this to the international stage.

"That is why The Co-operative is calling for not only tough and binding reduction targets for 2020 but also the allocation of substantial resources to enable the developing world to play its part - some $200 billion per annum."

Ashok Sinha, Director of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition said: "This mobilisation of consumers by The Co-operative and is just what is needed if we are to make The Wave the biggest ever demonstration in support of action on climate change."

Further information on The Co-operative's involvement in The Wave can be found at: http://www.co-operative.coop/thewave

Notes to Editors
The Co-operative's involvement in The Wave builds upon many years of campaigning and taking action to combat climate change. As early as 1998, The Co-operative Bank began declining finance to businesses that invest in the extraction and processing of fossil fuels.

From 2006 to 2008, The Co-operative campaigned with Friends of the Earth for the introduction of a strong Climate Change Bill. This led to The Climate Change Act (2008) which made the UK the first country in the world to establish long term, legally binding emissions targets.

To get its own house in order, The Co-operative is investing £20m in energy efficiency measures around its 4,000 properties, buys nearly all its electricity from renewable sources and is actively building new wind farms on its land.

This year, The Co-operative will complete the second phase of its £2m Green Energy for Schools schemes, which will see 180 schools around the UK receive solar panels, wind turbines or biomass boilers.
The Wave is organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition. 11 million strong, we are the committed supporters, campaigners, hearts, minds and voices of over 100 organisations. Further information on the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition can be found at: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org

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