Sunday, September 21, 2014

More Than 310,000 People Descend on New York to March for Climate Action

“It’s going to be a good day,” said Van Jones, co-host of CNN’s Crossfire and former White House environmental adviser, in the moments leading up to the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday. His words and attitude echoed throughout the area at the front of the march, as celebrity activists like Mark Ruffalo and prominent community leaders like Mari Rose Taruc, a Filipina organizer from the Bay Area, prepared to lead nearly 30 blocks of jam-packed marchers through midtown Manhattan.

Comrades in arms: From left to right, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, primatologist Jane Goodall, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon march arm in arm in yesterday's parade in New York to call for action to fight climate change. Photo by Craig Ruttle, courtesy of AP Images.
“As this march begins, I’m hearing so many solutions, I’m even getting hopeful,” Taruc told ThinkProgress. Taruc was one of seven people chosen to speak before the march, ranging from a retired Kentucky coal miner with black lung disease to a mother from the sea level rise-endangered Marshall Islands.

Speaking passionately about why they chose to march and how climate change was impacting them and their communities, they were just a few voices amongst thousands speaking out for climate action. An official count conducted at the march showed over 310,000 participants — more than triple pre-march estimates of 100,000. Around the world, hundreds of thousands more joined 2,646 events in 156 countries.

In an interview before the march, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, for which leaders will gather later this week to address climate change, said today is “all about showing that we must address climate change,” and Tuesday, at the U.N. Summit, is when the world will show that they will address the issue.

“The beautiful thing about the process right now is that it’s both bottom up and top down,” she said.

More Than 310,000 People Descend on New York to March for Climate Action

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