Tutu Joins Celebrities in Call for Climate Change Action

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Scarlett Johansson and Annie Lennox are among the high profile signatories of a letter calling on rich nations to take the lead in addressing climate change and developing solutions for the poor communities they say are being hit hardest.

The 19 campaigners, actors, singers and writers to sign the letter to UK's The Times warned of ecological disaster and said leaders meeting for U.N. climate talks in Poznan, Poland, this week must step up their commitment.

"In the face of economic crisis we have seen what is achievable when countries unite in a common cause. But with the world at the brink of ecological disaster and millions of poor people already living on the front line of climate change, it is essential that this ambition be heightened as world leaders meet this week at the UN climate negotiations in Poland," they said.

The letter was arranged by Oxfam, which is working to help poor communities in Uganda, Bangladesh and other developing countries adapt to climate change.

The campaigners, who also include Ian McEwan, Jarvis Cocker and Colin Firth, urged developed nations to take the lead in tackling climate change.

"It is desperately unfair that the poor should again feel the brunt, despite being least responsible," they wrote.

"Wealthy nations, who are in their advantaged position because of heavy industrialization, are the most responsible and most able to lead the world in tackling climate change.

"This is why they must show leadership in Poland and provide solutions that have the interests of the world's poor at their heart."

The campaigners urged leaders to keep carbon emissions from rising 2C above pre-industrial levels and to commit funding towards helping poor communities adapt.

"Together, we must work towards low-carbon development so that all countries — including the poor — can prosper," they wrote.

"We call on world leaders meeting in Poznan to ensure that these ingredients are put in place. Only then can we hope for a global climate agreement that will safeguard the planet and ensure that poor people can truly pull themselves from poverty."