Model and photographer Helena Christensen returned to Peru to document the dramatic effects that climate change is having on people today. September 2009. Credit: Jason Mcdonald/Oxfam
Climate change impacts are extremely severe

'Glacial meltdown': Helena Christensen's photo exhibit at the UN

'Images of what the world loses when it happens'

Model and photographer Helena Christensen recently returned to Peru, her mother's native country, to document the dramatic effects that climate change is having on people today. At the UN in New York this week, Oxfam International and The Permanent Mission of Peru to the UN launched an exhibition of Helena's photographs from the trip.

The series of photographs will also be featured in Washington, London, and at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December.

 Jason Mcdonald/OxfamFollowing her trip to Peru, Helena said: "The impacts of the climate change are extremely severe in the areas we visited. The farmers we met and talked to are already living very hard lives, and are now being forced to adapt to salvage the effects of the rapidly changing climate."

A short film of the expedition, captured by award-winning Director Richard Bullock, will also be shown.

Helena says: "We are at a critical tipping point. We need to put pressure on our governments in order for them to take the necessary, radical steps that are needed to lower CO2 emissions. There's no time left, it is absolutely imperative to act now. Hopefully the only benefit of this UN conference won't be just a boost to Danish tourism."

The effects of climate change are already devastating, and they affect poor people – those who have played little part in causing the problem – first and worst.

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Oxfam is a member of the TckTckTck campaign, an online and offline mobilization bringing together an unprecedented alliance of non-governmental organizations. These include WWF and Greenpeace, trade unions, faith groups and individuals to call for a new international climate change treaty at the UN Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen.