Ahead of the Rio+20 - the United Nations conference on sustainable development - the push to end fossil fuel subsidies became the second most talked about topic worldwide on Twitter yesterday.
The #endfossilfuelsubsidies hashtag was introduced to the micro-blogging site, which has over 100 million active users, by 350.org, a global climate campaign and it is estimated that the hashtag was tweeted once a second. We certainly saw it show up in our Hippyshopper and personal feeds throughout the day!
Taking part in the campaign were active Tweeters, from politicians and journalists, to high-profile activists and celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Robert Redford.
The EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, who is expected to play a key role at the Rio+20 negotiations, tweeted, "Fossil fuels subsidies have no place in today's world. They must be phased out as the G20 pledged. #EndFossilFuelSubsidies #Rioplus20."
According to figures by Oil Change International, countries are combined spending as much as $1 trillion dollars annually on fossil fuel subsidies. That is twelve times as much in subsidies as the world is providing to clean energy, like wind and solar. The International Energy Agency estimates that by cutting these subsides the world can reduce global warming causing emissions by 50%. This will significantly contribute to preventing a 2 degree temperature rise, the number most scientists say is needed to prevent runaway climate change and the destruction on our planet.
As part of the campaign, tweets were projected onto famous landmarks around the world, including London's Marble Arch, St Paul's, Battersea Power Station and the Houses of Parliament.
The current draft of the Rio+20 agreement released on Saturday includes a paragraph on ending fossil fuel subsidies, but negotiations now hang in the balance as oil exporting countries led by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela attempt to delete any references to the proposal.
Follow the Twitterstorm at endfossilfuelsubsidies.org and take part by tweeting #endfossilfuelsubsidies.
All images by Stephen Brown.