'Together' Launches U.S. Campaign to Fight Climate Change

NEW YORK, New York, June 6, 2008 (ENS) – On Thursday, in observance of World Environment Day, businesses, U.S. cities nationwide and nonprofit organizations joined with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to launch Together, a consumer engagement campaign on climate change.

Together is an initiative of The Climate Group, a global, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to building public-private partnerships to find solutions to climate change.

Together first launched in the UK in 2007 with the help of then Prime Minister Tony Blair. To date, Together solutions in the UK have helped consumers save 522,000 metric tonnes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, CO2, and over US$200 million on household energy bills.

“Climate change is a global issue that requires a global response,” said Dr. Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group. “Following a successful first year in the UK, we’re proud to announce the U.S. launch of Together.”

“With plans for an international roll-out to Australia, China and India, Together is poised to engage citizens of the biggest greenhouse gas emitting nations in the world,” said Dr. Howard.

While Americans are willing to change their behavior to do something about climate change, the majority still do not know exactly what to do, according to The Climate Group. Together delivers clear and simple steps people can take to help reduce their impact on the planet’s warming climate.

Taking a zero-emissions pedicab to work
in New York City (Photo by
Andrew Conway)

Through Together’s alliance with the City of New York, the campaign’s founding city partner, as well as Boston, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Seattle, participating mayors are committing to collaborate with brands and nonprofits to create custom programs that enable city residents to help fight climate change.

“The philosophy of ‘Together’ is a perfect fit with New York City’s own approach to dramatically shrinking our carbon footprint – the goal that is at the heart of our ‘PlaNYC’ sustainability agenda,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “New Yorkers are deeply concerned about climate change. They want to do all they can in their own homes and communities to make a difference and we’re committed to providing them the opportunities to do just that.”

“Protecting our environment is a job that belongs to each one of us. It means more than companies changing their practices or governments changing their policies. It means each person finding ways to change the little things in our lives that will in turn have a huge positive impact on the world around us. Together will help make this possible,” said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Companies including Chase, the campaign’s founding corporate partner, as well as Dell, Lenovo, MySpace, Nestlé Waters, RecycleBank, smart USA, Target and Timberland, seven cities across the country and nonprofit organizations including ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, The American Red Cross in Greater New York, Climate Counts, Global Footprint Network, Mercy Corps, National Wildlife Federation and The Center for a New American Dream have joined Together, with dozens of additional partners set to join in the coming months.

“Chase is pleased to be the founding sponsor of the Together campaign in championing opportunities that partner governments, companies and consumers in efforts that will help protect the environment,” said William Daley, JPMorgan Chase midwest vice chairman and head of the Office of Corporate Responsibility.

“In serving our clients, customers, shareholders, employees and communities, we are using our intellectual capital to invest in environmentally sustainable solutions,” said Daley. “Working together, we can help consumers reduce their impact on the planet.”

MTV, News Corporation and Time Warner have joined the campaign as media partners.

MTV is partnering with Together to broaden consumer awareness on how to end climate change through its “Break The Addiction” pro-social initiative, which aims to educate and empower young people to make daily choices that improve their lives, curb the impact of global warming and preserve our environment.

Together will promote simple products, services and initiatives that yield measurable energy-saving results, and the campaign will clearly show how, together, these small actions make a big difference.

Target became one of the first corporate partners to roll out Together solutions. The retailer will offer more than a dozen Together solutions and demonstrated its commitment to fighting climate change by giving away 15,000 reusable bags and coupons worth $2 off the price of energy-efficient bulbs at the campaign launch.

“At Target, we’re passionate about the importance of public/private partnerships as each party brings unique capabilities and knowledge to the table to strengthen our communities,” said Nate Garvis, vice president for government affairs with Target. “Our partnership with The Climate Group and support of the Together campaign are natural extensions of this philosophy and we look forward to collaborating to amplify our guests’ support of the environment.”

MySpace and smart USA are collaborating with Together to deliver an online initiative to raise awareness and accelerate action around the fight against climate change. The companies will launch a competition on July 4, 2008 to give away a smart fortwo car to the MySpace user who refers the most friends to www.myspace.com.

Together has joined forces with nonprofit organizations to extend the reach of the campaign. Together’s founding nonprofit partner, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, has committed to continually enlist and engage new city partners.

“Mayors and local government leaders have informed and inspired this country’s response to global climate change, but this challenge requires the collective effort of entire communities,” said Michelle Wyman, executive director, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.

The “Togetherizer” an online aggregator at www.together.com, will tally the combined efforts of everyone who adopts a Together solution, demonstrating the real savings – both in CO2 and in dollars – that the campaign delivers directly to consumers.

Environmental Resources Management, an independent, third-party validator, will verify CO2 savings for every Together solution.

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