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When action is needed, it’s time to take to the streets. Throughout history, group protests and marches have precipitated major change, and that’s remained true in modern times. Martin Luther King’s march to the Lincoln Memorial and “I Have a Dream” speech ushered in civil rights legislation. A million people occupied Beijing’s Tiananmen Square seeking democratic reforms, and the fallout from the government’s brutal intervention set China on a course toward liberalisation. Ongoing protests and demonstrations throughout Germany led to the governments finally breaking down the Berlin wall between the East and West.
We’re on the cusp of another revolution, where we either take immediate and decisive international action against climate change— or lock in a future where the serious impacts like extreme weather, droughts, species dying-off and sea levels rising become worse and worse. The climate movement is asking world leaders to commit to switch the global economy from fossil fuels to clean energy. We believe that everyone, everywhere has the right to a future without the worst risks of climate change.
And just like movements of the past, it’s taken a huge, and global, mobilisation of people to make that message heard. While the climate movement has been active for years, the People’s Climate March last September saw 700,000 people peacefully marching around the world, on a scale that created a real force for change.
Top cabinet ministers joined the March, along with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The March did affect the UN summit the next year, as leaders from around the world pointed to the March as evidence that nations needed to get more serious about the climate agenda.
Throughout the rest of 2014 and 2015, the climate movement continued to put pressure on world leaders, and demand that businesses, organisations and institutions divest from fossil fuels. As a result, countries from the EU to China, and even the USA, have set more aggressive carbon reduction goals that weren’t thought possible a year earlier. This December, Paris will host the largest and most significant global climate change summit of the decade— this is really our key chance to get things right, and agree to a set of solutions that involve the whole world. But, in order to succeed in Paris, we’ve got to continue to grow the grassroots climate movement.
Climate marches will be taking place around the world this November leading up to the Paris UN climate summit. Last year we saw 700,000 in the streets, and organisation leaders are expecting an even greater turnout this time. If you marched last year, you know just how inclusive, exciting, fun and empowering it is to take part in what already has become a major historic turning point. If you haven’t marched before, this year it’ll be even easier to take part— with events in more cities and locations near you.
People power is the best way to get our message out there, and make sure it’s heard around the world. Find out more about the People’s Climate March here, and RSVP here. We look forward to seeing you in the streets this November!
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