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British chefs, footballers vow to cut carbon footprints

By Farah Master
/ Source: Reuters

By Farah Master

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - British celebrities, energy companies and fashion designers committed to slash their carbon emissions by 2010 on Tuesday ahead of United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen in December.

The 10:10 campaign, launched at London's Tate Modern art gallery, aims to get thousands of Britons to cut 10 percent of their carbon footprint by next year.

If enough people pledge to cut emissions, organizers said the government may able to push for a tougher deal at the global climate meeting.

Developing nations like China and India have argued they will not reduce their emissions without seeing concerted efforts from the West.

"It is not extreme environmentalism, you don't have to be cycling round in sandals," said campaign creator Franny Armstrong, director of climate film 'The Age of Stupid'.

Chef Delia Smith, fashion designers Vivienne Westwood and Nicole Farhi, Tottenham Hotspur football club and energy companies Centrica, EDF and E.ON are part of a wide sphere supporting the campaign.

"If we don't cause massive social change in the next few months then it is about all over for life on earth," Armstrong said.

The 10:10 campaign, launched by the Guardian newspaper, Comic Relief and other NGOs, is calling on people to make small- scale sacrifices to their daily routine to reduce emissions.

Advice is split into different sections ranging from air travel, consumer electronics to food and clothing and includes tips like going vegan three times a week and buying second hand mobile phones and clothing.

People who travel frequently by airplane are encouraged to make up their carbon footprint by saving in other areas by taking holidays by rail, carpooling when possible or cycling to work.

10:10 is one of a number of campaigns being launched ahead of the Copenhagen negotiations. 'TckTckTck' -- a global campaign -- was launched in the last week of August to urge governments to agree on a tough climate agreement.

"It's essential that politicians wake up to the need for urgent action and agree a strong and fair agreement," said Mike Childs, head of Climate Change at environmental group Friends of the Earth.