Friday, 15 January 2021

UN in your language

“There is no planet B”

Emma Cassidy  Survival Media Agency CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

22 September 2014 - Ahead of the Climate Summit, hundreds of thousands marched the streets in New York and other parts of the world, demanding urgent action on climate change. Twelve-year old Marija Borozan was on her first ever protest march, exclaiming, “The world matters, I want to save the environment.” (Girl from cover photo)

Politicians, celebrities, activists and the general public marched though New York to highlight global concerns about a lack of international action to stop the harmful effects of climate change. Speaking to journalists after walking with demonstrators on the People's Climate March through New York City on Sunday, Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon said "I am overwhelmed by such a strong power, energy and voice of the people, I hope this voice will be truly reflected to the leaders when they meet on September 23rd," .

southbendvoice2.0GenericCC BY-SA 2.0According to the organizers the event is the largest climate change march in history. In New York alone, 310,000 people marched for action. In Europe, the turnout was no less impressive with an estimated 40,000 marchers in London, over 15,000 braved the rain in Berlin and hundreds gathered in Madrid. As for Paris, host to the 2015 Climate Conference, the estimates place 4,500 people at the march calling for climate action now. In Brussels, to highlight the issue, Sunday was a car-free day as over a thousand people marched on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliver a petition signed by one and a half million people.

The climate cause gathered the Nordics to the streets as well. In Sweden, the weather gods were however not favourable towards the few hundred brave demonstrators in Stockholm, who faced thunder, hail and pouring rain – but didn’t let the weather discourage themselves. Some 400 people gathered in Oslo, and up to 1000 people in Nytorv, Denmark. The People’s climate march in Helsinki managed to gather almost 1200 marchers, despite the fact that the march was organized by only some 10 volunteers and with scarce resources.

From Melbourne to Manhattan, more than 2,800 similar climate events took place in 160 cities worldwide. In total organizers estimate that nearly 600,000 people took to the streets, all of which had the same message to the politicians: Do something to combat climate change - now.

Tomorrow, on 23 September, 120 world leaders will gather at the UN General Secretary’s Climate Summit – a meeting aimed at galvanizing political will for a new global climate treaty by the end of 2015.

“There is no time to lose. If we do not take action now we will have to pay much more. There is no plan B because we do not have planet B” says Ban Ki–moon.

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