Westwood donates Â£1m to climate charity
British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has donated £1 million ($1.55 million, 1.17 million euros) to help tackle climate change, she announced Monday as UN climate talks began in South Africa.
The 70-year-old has given the money to the Cool Earth charity to kick-start a £7 million campaign to prevent rainforest logging in Borneo, Peru and the River Congo basin.
"Tomorrow is too late. Governments have been talking about saving rainforest for 40 years and only half is left. We can't rely on anything but our own actions," she said on the charity's website.
Westwood decided to donate the money after learning that only a small percentage of the $6.5 billion (4.9 billion euros) committed to the World Bank-overseen Climate Investment Funds had been spent, The Times newspaper said.
"Governments... are so slow that we can't wait for them any more. We have to get this thing moving and hope that they'll join in," she told the daily.
"I took as much as I could afford from my company."
The Times said that only a quarter of the money promised by governments to the World Bank programme had been handed over, while just five percent had been distributed.
Westwood was a key figure in the development of punk fashion in the 1970s.
Topping the agenda in Durban, on the South African coast, is the fate of the Kyoto Protocol, the only worldwide pact with targets for curbing heat-trapping emissions, whose first round of pledges expires at the end of 2012.
© 2011 AFP