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Friday July 6th 2012

Campaign to end fossil fuel subsidies tops Twitter ahead of Rio+20

And so the 24-hour Twitterstorm against fossil fuel subsidies is over. And with an amazing rate of 3+ tweets per second, the storm certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

The campaign which was launched yesterday by 350.org, Avaaz, Greenpeace, and other environmental organizations called on people to flood the popular social network site Twitter, using the #EndFossilFuelSubsidies hashtag, with demands for an end to unnecessary and climate killing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. These subsidies globally amount to as much as $1 trillion dollars every year, or $1.4 billion per day.

The organizers are hoping that the Twitterstorm will push world leaders to agree to end fossil fuel subsidies at the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development which is being held in Brazil tomorrow.

So how much support did the campaign manage to get? The #EndFossilFuelSubsidies hashtag was trending on second place around the world and it was ranked as the second most popular topic in both the United States and Australia. Globally it was one of the most talked about topics online in the entire world yesterday. According to the campaigners more than 100,000 tweets was sent under the hashtag.

Celebrities and politicians didn’t miss the storm. For example, Stephen Fry asked his 4.5 million followers on Twitter to join the Twitter Storm and sign the already one million signature strong petition from Avaaz.

Let’s green $1 trillion with a plan to save the planet. Sign the petition & RT: j.mp/endFFS #endfossilfuelsubsidies #G20 #RioPlus20

— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) June 18, 2012

EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, who will play a key role at the Rio+20 negotiations also tweeted in support of the campaign.

Fossil fuels subsidies have no place in today’s world . They must be phased out as the G20 pledged. #EndFossilFuelSubsidies #Rioplus20

— Connie Hedegaard (@CHedegaardEU) June 18, 2012

And so did the English business magnate, Richard Branson.

Fossil fuels are subsidised 12 times as much as renewable energy. Let’s turn that around! bit.ly/Ns0aeJ #EndFossilFuelSubsidies

— richardbranson (@richardbranson) June 18, 2012

Even the White House took notice of the campaign as a representative tweeted this message on behalf of President Obama:

President Obama has made ending Oil Subsidies a priority: http://1.usa.gov/wJy13u #endfossilfuelsubsidies

— Jon Carson (@JonCarson44) June 18, 2012

Was the campaign a success? Clearly it was. Did it make any difference? That remains to be seen.

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This article was originally posted on the Green Blog under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.