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Manchester's Big Ask

news release

On 11th June, campaigners from Manchester Friends of the Earth [1] will be taking to the streets to ask Saturday shoppers whether the Government should be doing more to tackle climate change.

This follows the launch of Friends of the Earth’s national campaign, The Big Ask, on 25th May. The Big Ask calls on the Government to bring in new legislation to tackle climate change by setting legally binding targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions by three per cent per year. This would ensure that the UK meets its national target of a 60 per cent reduction by 2050.

Although the Government has already committed to reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2010, little action has yet been taken to deliver on this promise. In fact, emissions of carbon dioxide actually rose between 1997 and 2005. Passing a law that mandates annual emission cuts will ensure critical measures to address climate change are made now, rather than being left for a future government to deal with.

Dave Coleman, Manchester Friends of the Earth’s climate campaign co-ordinator, said:

“Climate change is the biggest threat that mankind faces. It’s easy to think that as individuals we are powerless to do anything about it, but by pledging to support the Big Ask we can make our voices heard.”

The campaigners will be polling passers-by in St Ann’s Square between 11am and 4:30pm on Saturday. The results of the poll will be published on Monday 13th June. More information about the Big Ask can be found at


Notes to Editors

[1] Manchester Friends of the Earth is a prominent pressure group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on their website: Manchester Friends of the Earth is part of a national network of local groups, affiliated to the national organisation (further information can be found at

[2] A NOP survey, published by Friends of the Earth on 25th May 2005, found that 73 per cent of respondents did not think the Government is doing enough to tackle climate change; 55 per cent think the Government should be taking the lead on climate change, 26 per cent said individuals should take the lead and 13 per cent said business should. The NOP survey interviewed 1,000 people across Britain between 6th and 8th May 2005. Weighting was applied to the data to bring it in line with national profiles.

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