Sunday, September 21, 2014

From Paris to New York, people rally against climate change

World leaders including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were on Sunday set to join farmers, fishermen, children and others in demonstrations across the globe to demand action on climate change.

In New York, organisers were expecting some 100,000 to join the People’s Climate March ahead of Tuesday's UN summit, which will bring together 120 world leaders to discuss reducing carbon emissions that threaten the environment.

“You can’t fight climate change sitting on your couch and holding your breath,” said Jamie Henn, a spokesman for, which organized the New York event with more than a dozen other environmental, labor and social justice groups.

Sunday’s global rally - which is also being held in Berlin, London, Paris, Rio and Melbourne - is aimed at demanding changes that will lead to a world economy run entirely on clean energy.

The UN climate summit will focus on talks towards a pact 200 nations are working on that would rein in the rising greenhouse gas emissions. Negotiators aim to complete that deal in late 2015.

In Paris, activists said the mobilisation would act as a reminder for President François Hollande and his government of the huge responsibility they will shoulder when France hosts the Climate Conference in 2015.

“The climate crisis is already upon us and feeds the economic crisis. This is a silent tragedy, which kills tens of thousands of people every year”, said environmental activist and political figure Nicolas Hulot, who is joining the march.

Organisers have billed the event as the largest gathering focused on climate change since 2009, when tens of thousands of people gathered in Copenhagen in a sometime raucous demonstration that resulted in the detention of 2,000 protesters.




  1. Ahead of summit, UN Headquarters complex becomes canvas inspiring action on climate change...

    20 September 2014 – In the lead-up to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Climate Summit, the United Nations lit up its iconic Headquarters complex in New York with a spectacular 30-story architectural projection show aimed to inspire global citizens to take climate action.

    Entitled “illUmiNations: Protecting Our Planet”, and organized in partnership with the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) and Obscura Digital, the projections were shown on the white marble west facade of the UN General Assembly Hall and north facade of the Secretariat building from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday evening.

    With its striking scenes, the display provided a breathtaking visual reminder of what is at stake as Member States, as well leaders from finance, businesses, civil society, and the public and private sectors, prepare to gather at the UN Tuesday, 23 September.

    The Secretary-General's Climate Summit aims to catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political action toward a meaningful, robust, universal, and legal climate agreement by 2015.

    “We must make our voices heard. These exceptional projections being shown at the United Nations will help draw attention to the need to make climate action a reality in every community and every society,” Mr. Ban urged in a press release on the event, which was organized in partnership with UN Department of Public Information

    The OPS was expected to kick off illUmiNations with the arrival of professional racecar driver and environmental activist, Leilani Münter, in a specially-designed electric Tesla vehicle outfitted with a high-tech mobile projection unit.

    “I think it's the biggest story on the planet,” said Louis Psihoyos, who founded the OPS Society and directed the 12-minute piece, which will be shown in a loop on Saturday night, then be dismantled. A video of the event will be posted on YouTube next week.

    “This event is all about inspiring people,” he added about the display, which was expected to include a 3 minute solutions segment with the photographic works of Yann Arthulic Informatoins-Bertrand, telling the story of climate change and highlighting actions that Governments, businesses, industry and civil society can take to shift toward a low-carbon economy and strengthen adaptation strategies.

    The finale of the projection show was set to included the photographic works of Sebastião Salgado.

    “There's no bigger billboard on the planet,” says Academy Award-winning producer Fisher Stevens, who produced the work. “The projections that will stream across the UN General Assembly Hall and north Secretariat building are a call to action on the most urgent issue of our times.”

  2. No 'Plan B' for fighting climate change: UN chief ....

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday said there is no "Plan B" for fighting climate change, urging global efforts to galvanize action.

    "This is the planet where our subsequent generations will live...There is no 'Plan B,' because we do not have 'Planet B,'" Ban told reporters after walking with an estimated 300,000 demonstrators in the People's Climate March through New York City.

    The world needs to "galvanize our action" and harness the people's "power to change," Ban said.

    The UN chief, wearing a T-shirt that read "I'm for climate action," walked nine blocks in the parade with U.S. Former Vice President Al Gore, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal.

    The march is believed to be the largest ever in the United States demanding measures to halt the advance of global climate change.

    Outside New York, from London to Bogota, another 270,000 people turned out at about 2,500 events around the world, organizers said.

    The event took place two days before Ban opens the much-anticipated Climate Summit at UN Headquarters in New York, which will draw more than 120 heads of state or government.

    The summit is expected to set the stage for a crucial conference in Paris in December 2015 aimed at finalizing a new global climate change pact.

    Politicians including U.S. senators, actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Evangeline Lilly, as well as activists and the general public marched though the city to highlight global concerns about the lack of international action to stop the worsening effects of climate change.

    Marchers, chanting slogans or playing music, created a noisy carnival atmosphere as they filed through Manhattan's West Side. Some were dressed in costumes associated with indigenous groups, others wore protest T-shirts. One banner in the shape of a road sign warned "Climate Crisis Ahead."................


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