FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hoda Baraka, 350.org Global Communications Manager, +1-917-242-9187
Richard Lee, Avaaz Communications Director, +41 76 560 32 30
WORLDWIDE — Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in cities and towns around the world today to demand action on climate change on the eve of a Climate Summit at the United Nations. From the crowded streets of New Delhi to Melbourne to Johannesburg to Rio de Janeiro, people in more than 156 countries joined 2646 events and rallies.
“People around the world are tired of waiting for our politicians to act,” said Payal Parekh, Global Campaigns Director for 350.org, one of the organizations coordinating the global day of events. “From the islands of the Pacific to the streets of New York City, we’re demanding action, not words. We’re showing what real leadership looks like.”
The “People’s Climate” actions took place across continents, from rural villages to major metropolises. At rallies large and small, people from all walks of life were united in their demand for world leaders to make ambitious commitments to tackle the climate crisis.
In addition, at last count, 2,097,372people around the world signed onto a petition calling for bold action at the UN Climate Summit.
“With hundreds of thousands marching in more than 2500 protests worldwide, this is by a long way the largest climate mobilization in history. It’s a wake up call to politicians that climate change is not a green issue anymore, it’s an everybody issue,” said Ricken Patel, executive director of the global civic organization Avaaz. “The public has heard our scientists that everything we love is under threat, and we’re prepared to fight for the only solution — a world powered by 100% safe, clean, sustainable energy.”
Photos from events will feature on jumbotrons in New York City, where the major march of the weekend will take place with over 100,000 people marching in the streets of the city. Labor unions, environmentalists, social justice groups, migrant communities, students, people of faith, and more all took part in the march in New York, making it not only the largest, but most diverse demonstration on climate change in US history.
“The days when climate change can be ignored as a side issue are over,” said May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director. “Public opinion has reached a tipping point and the demand for action will only grow. This march is just the beginning. Today we marched, tomorrow we organize.”
The global mobilization drew the support of over 1,574 partner organizations and dozens of celebrities, politicians and notable public figures. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will join the march in New York City, along with diplomats, US Senators, and celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Rock, Emma Thompson and more.
“This is surely a moment that demands unprecedented collective action,” said Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. “We can no longer tinker about the edges. We can no longer continue feeding our addiction to fossil fuels as if there is no tomorrow. For there will be no tomorrow. We are on the cusp of a global transition to a new safe energy economy, a transition that unites people in common purpose, advances collective well-being and ensures the survival of our species.”
Archbishop Tutu has been a vocal supporter of fossil fuel divestment, which emerged as one of the central themes of the day in many places across Europe and North America. Over the last two-years, the divestment movement has spread to over 500 universities, churches, and other public institutions. On Monday, the Divest-Invest coalition will announce a major new set of commitments.
Divestment is only one of the many campaigns that will continue after this weekend’s mobilization. From local fossil fuel fights to the push for a new international climate treaty, the climate movement around the world is gaining in size and intensity.
“We’re not waiting for politicians to move,” said Seia Mikaele Maiava, Pacific Climate Warrior from Tokelau. “This is a matter of survival for us. We’re not drowning, we’re standing up and fighting for our homes.”
Organizers see the mobilization as just the beginning of a series of actions in the months to come that will continue to increase pressure for global action. From Pacific warriors planning a blockade of coal ports in Australia, to fracking activists organizing a global day of action in October, to a massive people’s march in Lima during the next UN climate summit this December, activists plan to take to the streets, and seas, many more times.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
 Global highlights include:
More than 2,500 people from across India hit the streets of New Delhi on Saturday, making the march the nation’s strongest ever call for climate action.
In Tanzania, the Maasai marched across their traditional lands to call for action to protect their homelands in the Serengeti from the impacts of climate change. Simultaneous events also happened across Africa including Johannesburg,Togo, Niger, The Ivory Coast, and Benin as well as a march planned in Africa’s largest city Lagos, taking place on Monday.
In Australia, More than 30,000 marched through the streets of Melbourne and more than 100 other cities and regional towns. Locals went on a 50 km beach march on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, and a 700 km march from Melbourne to Canberra.
In London, the bells of The Church of Londonrang out across the city as environment organisations and faith groups combined forces to create an historic march to the steps of Parliament.
On the US / Canada border, thousands of marchers from First Nations groups and local organisations will make the trip from Vancouver and Seattle to join hands in a truly international event, showing that “climate change knows no borders”.
In the Pacific Islands, from Tonga to Tuvalu to Tokelau, people rallied calling for Action, Not Words, to protect the Pacific Islands. In rural Papua New Guinea students from a primary school marched to a nearby lighthouse, which has recently become semi-submerged due to rising sea levels. Even as they marched, people all across the Pacific are also preparing to send 30 Pacific Climate Warriors with their canoes to block the world’s largest coal port in Australia in October.
In Istanbul, close to 3000 people marched through Istanbul’s Taksim Square, with impacted communities from across Turkey at the forefront.
In Berlin three parallel marches will combine forces in a colourful festival.
In Paris, local groups created the “Paris Marche pour le Climat,” with parades, marches, and bicycle rides across the bridges of the Seine.
Numerous other events were held across Europe in Stockholm, Amsterdam,Helsinki, Venice to name a few.
In Rio, thousands are marching on the beaches of Ipanema, after images were broadcast on the statue of Christ the Redeemer for the last week building up to the march.
In Jakarta, thousands of people marched to send an urgent demand to the newly elected President for a commitment to build an economy that is powered by renewable energy. Other events in Asia include Seoul, Taiwan, Manila among others.
 The exact number of people in attendance at the largest climate march taking place in NY will be made available on Sunday 21 September at 2PM EST/ 6PM GMT
 Photos from highlighted events worldwide available here http://bit.ly/1ykJz4U