Marchers included Leonard DiCaprio, Ban Ki-moon, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
Around 570,000 people took part in marches around the world yesterday calling for action on climate change. By far the largest event was in New York City, which had been dubbed the biggest climate march in history weeks before. Organizers estimate that 400,000 people showed up to the march in Manhattan, shattering a prediction of 100,000. The marches are meant to add political pressure before a high level UN Summit held in New York City on Tuesday.
“I’m here primarily for my children. I want to see the leaders of the world hear the will of the people and begin to implement 100 percent renewable energy for 100 percent of the people,” actor and activist, Mark Ruffalo, told the New York Daily News.
Along with Ruffalo, other marchers included former Vice President Al Gore, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall, actor and UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCapri, and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who will be heading up the UN Summit tomorrow.
“I am overwhelmed by such a strong power, energy and voice of people,” Ki-moon said at the march. “I hope this voice will be truly reflected to the leaders when they meet on September 23rd. Climate change is [a] defining issue of our time and there is no time to lose. If we do not take action now, we will have to pay much more.”
Coal mine in Wyoming. Burning coal is the most carbon-intensive energy source. Photo by: the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
World leaders have pledged to keep temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but are far behind on achieving that goal.
Organizers said there were 2,646 events across 161 countries yesterday. Some 40,000 people showed up in London and 10,000 or so in Melbourne.
The march came on the same day that the Global Carbon Budget estimated CO2 emissions rose 2.5 percent in 2013 and are set to hit a new record of 40 billion tonnes this year.
“The human influence on climate change is clear,” said co-author Corinne Le Quéré, Director of the Tyndall Centre at UEA. “We need substantial and sustained reductions in CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels if we are to limit global climate change. We are nowhere near the commitments necessary to stay below 2 [degrees Celsius] of climate change, a level that will be already challenging to manage for most countries around the world, even for rich nations.”
Le Quéré added that “politicians meeting in New York need to think very carefully about their diminishing choices exposed by climate science.”
The Global Carbon Budget also found that for the first time citizens of China are emitting more CO2 per capita than people in the EU. Although 16 percent of China’s emissions are from manufacturing goods that are shipped abroad to places like Europe and North America.
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