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Hope for Copenhagen: Campaign inspires public to call for climate action

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hopen-boys2Politicians and journalists tend to be jaded about international agreements aimed at improving society. And already too many commentators are saying the global climate summit that begins December 7 in Copenhagen will not produce tangible instruments that limit greenhouse gas emissions. Disgusted by the pessimism, the global advertising industry has started a grassroots campaign to encourage citizens worldwide to sound out a message of hope…in an effort to pressure each country’s leaders and delegates to the U.N Climate Change Conference to enact change.

The challenge, of course, is convincing enough people to shout out. So advertising agencies, led by Ogilvy Earth in New York City, have created an aggressive but positive public-relation campaign called Hopenhagen. "You can’t bore people into caring about climate change. And you can’t threatem then into caring," says Freya Williams, a senior partner at Ogilvy & Mather. Just like convincing them to want a product, she says, "you have to inspire them."

The tag lines of the campaign are "When people lead, leaders follow," and "Let’s turn Copenhagen into Hopenhagen." Ogilvy, its ad partners, and sponsors such as SAP and Coca-Cola have created a series of beautiful, inspirational ads, including the ones you see here.hopen-glen2

The ads have begun running in major media worldwide and will continue in magazines and on billboards and television through the Cop 15 meeting, which ends Dec. 18. The Hopenhagen movement lives online at, where individuals can sign the U.N. Climate Petition calling for action. As of Nov. 13 more than 378,000 people had signed. But campaigns will also run on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, where enthusiasts can obtain a Hopenhagen passport.

Williams says the city of Copenhagen may also agree to temporarily change certain high-profile signs at airports, train stations and other key locations, pasting a translucent green H over the C in Copenhagen. The stated goal of all the efforts is to let the Cop 15 delegates know "the world will be watching and holding them accountable for outcomes."


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  1. 1. J IX 12:56 pm 11/13/2009

    Awsome, It’s about time that someone started a large scale PR campaign for the Montreal agreement and it’s corresponding amendments (Coppenhagen, ’92).

    I have always told people that "" When people lead, leaders follow""…..and it’s true.

    Link to this
  2. 2. Soccerdad 9:28 pm 11/13/2009


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  3. 3. Broadnax 8:14 pm 11/14/2009

    This is just another example of the BS we too often hear. Yes, let’s all get together and do the right thing. Let’s raise awareness and do PR. The problem is that the atmosphere doesn’t care how PC we are.

    Over the next 30 years, China alone will emit more greenhouse gas than the whole world did since the beginning of the industrial revolution. So even if U.S. emissions drop to zero, there will be more GHG emitted than now.

    So sign the petitions and vent your anger at the SUV owners. But don’t buy any coastal land in Florida and prepare for the heat. There is already enough CO2 in the air to warm to globe. It WILL happen.

    Good luck with that petition thing affecting the Chinese et al. They will talk a good game and we will get into a "promise race" but only nukes and carbon taxes can make any changes, and people don’t really like either.

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  4. 4. Spiff 6:34 pm 11/16/2009

    If cavemen like Al Gore had scientific instruments back 30,000 years ago , we would have had a crisis of "Global Warming" while the ice glaciers went through the Hudson river! It’s amazing how many "pop" scientists can foresee what China is going to do in 30 years when they can’t see what’s going on now!

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  5. 5. eco-steve 9:14 am 11/17/2009

    A law should be voted to ensure that all the Copenhagen delegates will have read the full IPCC reports published by Cambridge Press before voting. That way they may make the enlightened decisions the planet needs.

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