ImageThousands of people, eager to draw attention to climate change issues, gathered or marched in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch yesterday, calling for a good outcome from the United Nations conference in Copenhagen which starts tomorrow.

Organised as part of the Greenpeace ‘‘Sign On’’ campaign, which calls for a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, the march in Auckland was followed by a concert featuring Opshop and Don McGlashan.

Boosting the ranks in the City of Sails were Greenpeace celebrity climate ambassadors Lucy Lawless, Rhys Darby and Robyn Malcolm, who have all been vocal about the need for Prime Minister John Key to attend the United Nations climate change conference.

They were pleased that Key has done a U-turn, announcing last week that he will be joining the big-wigs of international politics in Copenhagen after months of saying he was not going to attend.

Lawless said it took a big man to change his mind. ‘‘I’m absolutely thrilled that he’s going. There’s a real groundswell of support for a 40% emissions reduction by 2020 and I’m glad he’s seeing that the people of New Zealand do care.’’

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