Greenpeace demonstration at Machu Picchu ahead of COP20

Greenpeace activists sneaked giant banners into Machu Picchu on the eve of today’s UN Climate Summit (COP20) in Lima and unfurled a message urging world leaders to quickly phase out biofuels and adopt a new course toward 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Three of the seven activists — from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Spain, Austria and Germany — were reportedly detained briefly by Machu Picchu park guards.

“Machu Picchu is a place renowned for the power of the sun in our past, and for its use that we depend on for our future,” said Martin Kaiser, Head of Delegation Greenpeace Climate Policy, in a statement posted on the organization’s Argentine site.

“The recent agreement between the U.S. and China is a turning point that should stimulate global commitment to the goal of 100% renewable energy for everyone,” he continued. “At COP20, we call for major emitting countries to set ambitious commitments for 2025. The whole world is watching and now is the time to act.”

Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China, agreed to a deal in Chinese emissions of carbon dioxide would peak by around 2030, while the U.S. would cut emissions by more than a quarter between 2005 and 2025.

Delegates from 195 nations started meeting today in Lima for COP20, the 20th climate change conference and the last ministerial meeting before a new global deal is due for review and signage in Paris next year.

The climate activists at Machu Picchu had a specific message about how the world should scale down greenhouse gas emissions.

“The production of biofuels is being pushed by governments of industrialized countries as a quick fix to the problem of emissions of greenhouse gases, but what are generating are more problems than solutions,” said Argentine Greenpeace activist María Eugenia Testa.

The cultivation of biofuel crops such as corn, soybeans, rapeseed or sugar cane for the production of biofuels is not only destroying  jungle and rain forests, it also is driving up food costs for the populations of the world that can least afford it, she said. 

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Authored by: Rick Vecchio

Rick Vecchio, Fertur’s director of development and marketing, was educated at the New School for Social Research and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He worked for Pacifica Radio WBAI and as a daily reporter for newspapers in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Then in 1996, he decided it was time to realize a life-long dream of traveling to Peru. He never went back. While serving as Peru country manager for the South American Explorers from 1997-1999, he fell in love with Fertur's founder, Siduith Ferrer, and they married. Over the next six years, he worked as a correspondent for The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Siduith built the business, which he joined in January 2007. Now he designs custom educational and adventure tour packages for corporate and institutional clients, oversees Fertur’s Internet platform and occasionally leads special trips, always with an eye open for a good story to write about.

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