People’s Climate March…a march for global climate action
Monday, 22 September 2014
An estimated 400 000 people participated in the People’s Climate March on 21 September 2014 through the streets of New York. At the same time, more than 2 800 solidarity events were held in 166 countries which made this the largest climate march in history.
The “people have spoken” with this response and their demand to world leaders is clear and simple – immediate and decisive action against climate change.
Climate change is a threat multiplier. It does not only affect the environment, but also hampers the global economy and development efforts, and impacts the most vulnerable countries and communities disproportionately.
Following the People’s Climate March, Arin de Hoog of Greenpeace International described the challenge facing world leaders, and the action required when they meet at the UN Climate Summit on 23 September 2014 in New York, as follow:
“What clearer signal can there be to policy leaders that they need to either lead or get out of the way? Leading means using tomorrow’s climate summit to show that governments are going to take decisive action towards capping runaway CO2 emissions and stand up to the fossil fuel industry. If they are unable or unwilling to do this they need to get out of the way of the millions of their electorate who see the fatal cracks in the ice. Yesterday’s global act of solidarity adds an exclamation point to the rapidly growing number of people who are demanding that industry be accountable to the planet.”
A recent report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) stated that in 2013 the global annual average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere grew at its fastest rate in nearly 30 years. If this trend continues, the impact on global warming and climate change will be catastrophic.
The reality which we are confronted with is therefore very simple – the longer we delay taking action, the greater the risks and the harder and more costly it will become to respond to them.
The outcomes of the UN Climate Summit will be closely scrutinized and the “global mass action” of the past weekend might just be the start of things to come should world leaders fail to reach agreement on concrete action again climate change.
I’m excited about the race in Antarctica and the challenge of raising R250 000 for a Greenpeace Africa solar energy project, and encourage you to support my efforts and the work of Greenpeace Africa!
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“Together we can make a difference!”
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