10 million sign petition for climate action

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Ten million people around the world have signed an online petition demanding that leaders sign up to a "fair, ambitious and binding" climate treaty, organisers of the initiative said on Monday.

The petition, staged by TckTckTck, an umbrella organisation of 226 green groups, was handed to UN climate chief Yvo de Boer, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen and conference chairwoman Hedegaard.

Over the next 12 days, members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will negotiate over reducing carbon emissions that trap the sun's heat, inflicting potentially catastrophic climate damage.

They will also wrestle with building a mechanism to channel hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to poor countries, helping them reduce their greenhouse-gas pollution and shore up defences against drought, flood, storm and rising seas.

The meeting will climax on December 18 with more than 100 heads of state or government in attendance.

They include US President Barack Obama, Premier Wen Jiabao of China, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the heads of the European Union (EU).