Monday, September 22, 2014

Historic People's Climate March Sends an Unprecedented Message to Leaders

Sunday September 21 was a historic day for the climate movement. On this day more people took to the streets calling for climate action than on any other day in history. From New York City to Rio, London to Delhi people assembled to demand that their leaders act on climate change. In New York City alone more than 400,000 people converged in support of climate action. The procession of marchers in Midtown Manhattan stretched for nearly 30 blocks. Around the world there were a total of 2,646 events in 156 countries.

This event sends a clear message to the 125 heads of state who are attending the UN Climate Summit on September 23. No longer can leaders contend that people are apathetic about the climate movement. More people than ever are demanding action in place of rhetoric.

People and politicians came together in New York city from all around the world. They waved signs and beat drums, others donned oil-soaked and green fairy costumes, still others carried wind turbine props.

In an interview before the march, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, for which leaders will gather later this week to address climate change, said today is “all about showing that we must address climate change,” and Tuesday, at the U.N. Summit, is when the world will show that they will address the issue. “The beautiful thing about the process right now is that it’s both bottom up and top down,” she said.

As the numbers of people calling for climate action grows it is becoming increasingly difficult for politicians to ignore. In North America we have not yet achieved the critical mass required, but the facts will outlast the lies forcing action from politicians who do not have the courage to lead. At the very least it makes it harder for Republicans in the US and Conservatives in Canada to persist with their anti-science subterfuge.

The goal of the People's Climate March is to pressure world leaders to strike a global climate deal by the end of 2015.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.


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