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Walk with a message

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Hit the streets this Sunday August 15 for the annual Walk Against Warming.

I love clean energy and i vote

Demonstrators at last year's Walk Against Warming.

Credit: Daniel Yuan

save our planet

Demonstrators at last year's Walk Against Warming.

Credit: Ricky Liew

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Hit the streets with the crowds on the annual Walk Against Warming this Sunday August 15, with the theme "walk with the people, not the big polluters".

Environment groups across Australia - including Greenpeace and The Wilderness Society - are encouraging members of the community to attend. They say a big turnout will prove that the community is taking action on climate change and its time that our political leaders did the same.

"The walk gives people an opportunity to send a strong signal to our state and federal governments that climate change is still firmly on the agenda and that they want to see real action on climate change," says Pepe Clarke, CEO of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW. "Members of the public have been taking action on climate change; they have been reducing their carbon foot print. People are installing solar panels on their house and walking or cycling to work."

Taking advantage of the current federal election, the Walk highlights the inadequacies of the climate change policies of the two major parties. Labor has shelved its emissions trading scheme until 2012, and the Liberal’s refuse to introduce a price on carbon.

"The time for delay on strong action on reducing emissions in Australia has passed," said Clarke. "We'd like to see the parties make a strong commitment to making polluters pay by introducing a carbon price."

Organisers of the event, including Conservation Councils around Australia, are hoping to show that Australia needs to support poor and vulnerable countries to tackle the impacts of climate change and invest in sustainable development.

Andrew Hewett, executive director of Oxfam, a partner of the event, would like to see the government honour its commitments under the Copenhagen accord to those nations most affected by climate change. "Australia needs to support the communities which are suffering the consequences of climate change, particularly those in our region," said Hewett. "We have a particular responsibility as one of the world's worst polluters to support those communities."

Sky blue shoelaces have become an emblem of the event as the main form of fundraising. Walkers are encouraged to purchase the funky laces for $5 at the event as a show of solidarity.

Walks are planned in nearly 20 different regional centres - including Wollongong, Willoughby, Launceston and Alice Springs - and will be in all capital cities. Some walks will focus on particular topics such as the 'clash-for-clunker' scheme and others will feature guest speakers, but all of the walks will collectively focus on positive action for climate change.

To check for an event in your local area and for details on registering, head to www.walkagainstwarming.org