Canadian Groups Enlist Parents on Climate Change

New PSA Uses Kids to Bring the Message Home

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In an effort to make the subject of global climate change more personal, two Canadian organizations have teamed up with marketing agency zig in a new campaign, "Moms Against Climate Change." The effort includes a public service announcement and a Web site, that encourage parents to take action leading up to the United Nations' Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen in December.

The effort, led by Environmental Defence Canada and ForestEthics, is designed to make parents aware of the effects that changes in the Earth's climate could have on their children in the future. To help get their voices heard, people are asked to upload their children's photos to the Web site. The images will be included in a projection appearing on Parliament Hill in Ottawa that will be headlined with a message to the Canadian prime minister: "Stephen Harper: Remember who you're representing in Copenhagen."

"This issue is one that could affect future generations profoundly, yet it doesn't currently factor into the steps parents take to prepare their kids for the future," says Lorraine Tao, a partner and copywriter at zig. "We felt that the concept of our children's futures being at risk was moving and motivating, so we targeted the campaign at parents, especially mothers. The campaign aims to affect the outcome of the summit by getting moms -- voters -- to let Stephen Harper know the issue is important to them."

The online and TV PSA, called "Demonstration," was produced on a pro bono basis, with more than 100 child actors volunteering and the sound track donated by the indie pop band Stars.

"The idea for the video was inspired by the protests in Iran this past summer," Ms. Tao says. "When people are wronged, they take action. So what if kids actually knew what could happen to them? What would they do?

"Canada is one of the top 10 worst global warming polluters in the world, and Stephen Harper's record on the issue is lackluster at best," she adds. "Part of the job was to let Canadians know that he and the other world leaders will be making decisions on the fate of the planet and our children's future in December."

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