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Brussels, 5 October 2009

Climate Change: EU, MTV and Backstreet Boys mobilise youth before UN conference in Copenhagen

The European Commission and MTV Networks International announced today the artist for the third and final concert of the "Play to Stop – Europe for Climate" campaign: Backstreet Boys. The band will play on 7 December in Copenhagen in front of hundreds of young people, coinciding with the opening day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

"I hope the world leaders will reach a fair and ambitious global agreement that will put us firmly on the path of sustainable development. We owe it to our children and generations to come", said Vice-President of the European Commission Margot Wallström.

Launched in July 2009, "Play to Stop" targets 11 EU Member States and features TV spots, webcasts, games, and editorial content about the fight against climate change as well as three concerts with major international artists.

Following concerts by Moby in Stockholm on 20 August and Editors in Budapest on 19 September, the last concert of “Play to Stop” will feature Backstreet Boys. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness among young people about the dangers of climate change and the importance of having a European Union response to it in the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference.

"No country will be spared by the effects of climate change, and future generations will be the worst affected," said Antonio Campo Dall'Orto, Executive Vice President of Music Brands for MTV Networks International. "That's why communicating the urgency of the problem and fighting behaviours that aggravate climate change is so fundamental for MTV. We are proud to support the work the EU is doing for the environment through this 'Play to stop - Europe for Climate' campaign." 

Throughout the campaign, young people are encouraged to exchange opinions about climate change and how to protect the environment on the “Play to Stop” website at

Background: EU Climate action

The goal of the UN conference in Copenhagen in December is to find a new global climate deal to take over from the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. Early action is needed: climate destabilization is already a reality, and any delay in reaching an agreement will inevitably delay global action, worsen the effects of climate change and increase the cost of climate action.

The European Union already plays a leading role in the global fight against climate change. In December 2008 the EU adopted an integrated energy and climate change policy, setting ambitious targets for 2020. It hopes to set Europe on the right track – towards a sustainable future with a low-carbon, energy-efficient economy by:

  • cutting greenhouse gases by 20% (30% if international agreement is reached)

  • reducing energy consumption by 20% through increased energy efficiency

  • meeting 20% of our energy needs from renewable sources.

The campaign “Play to Stop – Europe for Climate” runs in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The 11 target countries are represented by celebrity national ambassadors who promote efforts against climate change. Among them are Bulgarian tennis player Magdalena Maleeva, Czech singer Aneta Langerová, Danish singer Anna David, French actor Paslac Légitimus, German actor Tobias Schenke, Hungarian aerobic champion Attila Katus, Italian TV star Paola Maugeri, Polish entertainer Michal Piróg and Romanian climate activist Serban Miron Copot.

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