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A campaign to build international co-operation in the fight against climate change was supported by Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff today, Friday.

Peter signed four Paddles for Life by the side of the Droitwich canals, adding his signature to those of other local politicians. After being signed by British and European world leaders, the paddles will be used in a number of cultural events and "Boat Races for the Blue Planet" in Wychavon, Washington DC, Beijing and Copenhagen, where, in 2009, the United Nations post-Kyoto Climate Agreement is to be signed.

The man behind the initiative, David Train, is an engineer and former Olympic coach who lives in Fladbury. It has been developed in Wychavon, Worcestershire and Britain, over the last decade, with the help of schools and clubs, and the support of local and national leaders.

David Train explained,

"The Paddle for Life is the symbol of a philosophy of solving local and global problems through teamwork and co-operation using the talents of all. It is currently being used to bring the whole world on board to help solve the problem of global warming. People of all ages make a Paddle for Life from a wooden "sword and shield", paint on their individual designs, keep it for life, and then inspire others to pledge their support by signing the paddle. Trees are planted to replace the wood used, on a two to one basis, so that all who take part have taken their first step in sinking carbon from the atmosphere."

Peter Luff commented,

"I am delighted to support this exciting initiative which combines political action, sporting achievement and environmental campaigning to help draw attention to an issue of overwhelming importance."

The first Paddle for Life and perpetual trophy was signed by Tony Blair, when Prime Minister, Lord (Seb) Coe and many other British leaders before going to America. There it has been signed by Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Will Steger the American polar explorer and environmentalist. It will be used for the Winona-Main Boat Race for the Blue Planet on the Mississippi, in 2008.

The project is now being led in Wychavon and Worcestershire by Andrew Train, five times Olympian and former world champion canoeist.


Note to editors: the paddles have also been signed by Sir Michael Spicer MP, Jacqui Smith MP and Liz Lynne MEP.

Photo shows, from left to right: Peter Luff MP, Ryck Williamson (Pershore High School and campaign supporter) and Andrew Train (Olympian and Organiser Wychavon Main Boat Race for the Blue Planet 2008).

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