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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.

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.

And so did the English business magnate, Richard Branson.

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

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

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I'd say making #EndFossilFuelSubsidies trend worldwide, from USA to Sweden, and rack up over 100 000 tweets is a success. It was a fun event to participate in, but the campaign was long overdue. Hopefully we'll have similar campaigns on a more regular basis. :)

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