On Sunday, an estimated 310,000 people took to the streets of New York City to join what has become the biggest climate demonstration in history, more than tripling pre-march estimates.
With 2,500 demonstrations organized in 166 countries, the total number of participants was estimated at 600,000. In London, 40,000 people marched to the steps of Parliament, some 30,000 people marched in Melbourne, more than 25,000 people took part in the 'Paris Marche pour le Climat', and about 15,000 people converged at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
Among ex-coal miners, labor unions, Ecuadorian tribes and youth organizations, notable participants at the march in New York City included Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. The Secretary General, who wore an “I’m for Climate Action” t-shirt, drew attention to the urgency of taking action, stating “There is no time to lose. If we do not take action now, we will have to pay much more.” NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled new plans for New York to reduce emissions by 80% from 2005 levels by 2050.
Executive Secretary General of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, joined the march with her two daughters, and expressed her excitement:
“There has never been as much public support, mobilization of the public private sector and of the finance sector to show that not only must we address climate change, but also that we can address climate change.”
Explaining that the march demonstrated enthusiasm for a global climate agreement, she expected to hear good news from governments on Tuesday: “Today it is about realizing: this is it, we are running out of time, we have to get to an ambitious global agreement by next year.”
Following on from the People’s Climate March, 125 world leaders will gather at the Climate Summit in New York on Tuesday.
Above photo courtesy of UN Photo/Mark Garten. Aerial photo by Flickr user Several Seconds.