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.
(09/22/2014) The following is a response from a group of scientists’ — including 6 members of the National Academy, 3 IPCC Lead Authors, and 1 IPCC Co-Chair — to Dr. Nadine Unger’s September 21, New York Times Op-Ed, “To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees”
(09/19/2014) Crackling heat and thick billowing smoke raced across the landscape. After weeks of scorching dry summer weather, the wildfire seemed to hungrily consume the earth. In northern Alberta, Canada, the Richardson fire of 2011 gained particular notoriety for ravaging nearly 700,000 hectares – and threatening the Athabasca oil sand development. Yet it is these very wildfires that are so crucial in shaping our boreal forests – which make up nearly one third of the world’s forests.
(09/18/2014) By 2100, over 13 billion people could be walking the planet. That’s the conclusion of a new study published today in Science, which employed UN data to explore the probability of various population scenarios. The new study further demolishes the long-held theory that human population growth will quit growing by mid-century and then fall.
(09/18/2014) Since 2008, governments have invested $1.64 billion in funds to kick-start REDD+, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
and Degradation, the global effort to conserve the world’s forests in order to better mitigate climate change. However, a new report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) finds that same amount of money could have secured the legal rights of indigenous and local people to 450 million hectares of forest, an area 40 percent larger than India.
(09/17/2014) Ahead of the upcoming Climate Change Summit to be held in New York, September 23, a Filipino man who last year made headlines around the world on the subject is speaking out.
(09/10/2014) The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere made the biggest jump last year since 1984, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, raising alarm bells about society’s inaction on curbing global warming.