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Play to Stop climate change

By Vipul Bhatti

Last updated 10/29/2009 6:06:49 PM

Play to Stop climate change - Moby

So what can music do? For each one of us it is different, but the one thing it does for all of us is change - to influence, to inspire, to realise that there are infinite possibilities for something better.

‘Play to Stop' has become the campaign set up by the European Commission and MTV Networks to highlight a global change that threatens the future of our everything mostly by raising young people's awareness on the issue of climate change.

Margot Wallström, vice president of the EC, highlighted that young people today will bear the brunt of the climate change and politicians need to be pressed more with litigation and mitigation as the poorest will suffer the most.

She added: "Young people are aware but are less willing to make changes. We have a beautiful planet and life will not be as we know it to be now. Already changes are affecting the planet".

According to a Eurobarometer survey, 65% of young people aged 15-24 do not believe that climate change is unstoppable process and that nothing can be done about it. ‘Play to Stop' recognises that young people's voices are important and can act as a catalyst for real change. 

The initiative is part of the framework of the European Union's existing campaign ‘Climate Action: Energy for a Changing World' to secure a positive outcome to the negotiations of an integrated energy and climate change policy at the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Copenhagen in December. ~

An EU manuscript ‘Combating climate change – The EU leads the way' stated that "If the Earth's temperature rises more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, climate change is likely to become irreversible and the long-term consequence could be immense".

The ‘Play to Stop' campaign is supported by 11 European countries each with their own celebrity ambassador to promote the campaign at national level with MTV organising three concerts in three European cities.

The first took place in Stockholm in August with Moby, the second held last month in Budapest with British ‘nu wave' rock band ‘Editors' and the third will be in Copenhagen in December with American boy-band ‘the ‘Backstreet Boys' to coincide with the UN Climate Change summit.

Optimist World was invited last month by the European Commission to Budapest to what Tamas Szucs for strategy DG COMM at the EC described as an unusual tactic for a serious event.

Held during European Mobility Week Szucs felt that this great issue demanded unusual tactics in a positive way. "Why music concerts? It's about getting young people interested and getting their voices heard. MTV reaches [a viewing audience of] of 31m in the campaign's target 11 European States so the wider effort is positive," he added.

Editors drummer Ed Lay said they had come as a British band attracting attention to push for change, he also described themselves as a ‘Green band' who back cut-backs personally and when on tour.

Guido Rossi, external and Institutional relations, MTV Italy, said that the campaign mission was its biggest challenge as climate will not wait for change. Reading a message from Antonia Campo Dall'Orto, executive vice president music brand of MTV Networks International, he added that the risk of inaction was too great and that many reductions needed to be made quickly in energy consumption.

"Communicating the urgency of the problem and fighting behaviour aggravate climate change is so fundamental for MTV ... [we believe] in empowering young people, engaging with them in building a better future". Dall'Orto added that the battle for a more sustainable, eco-friendly future was as much about democracy as it is about the environment.

Hungarian campaign ambassador and aerobic world champion Attila Katus said that he saw parallels with his profession and preservation in promoting change with action on individual and global level. He added: "With my celebrity status I can influence individual thought, change humanity. Today it is cheaper to save and preserve our planet with step-by-step action".

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