UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio joined thousands of people for a march through the city to shine the spotlight on the climate crisis with the UN Chief stressing that there is no ‘Plan B’ to halt advance of climate change as there is no ‘Planet B.’
About 400,000 people participated in one of the largest global calls for climate action at the People’s Climate March here yesterday that also saw participation by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, former US Vice President Al Gore, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, US Senator Chuck Schumer and musician Sting.
Speaking to journalists after walking in the rally, Ban said the world needs to “galvanize our action” and harness the people’s “power to change.”
He said the international community should adopt measures to halt the advance of global climate change as there is no “Plan B” for action as there is no “Planet B.”
The rally, which came just two days before Climate Summit at the UN Headquarters, saw politicians, celebrities, activists and the general public march though the city to highlight global concerns about a lack of international action to stop the deleterious effects of climate change.
The summit is expected to draw more than 120 heads of State and Government to galvanize action on climate change.
The People’s Climate March is part of a worldwide campaign to persuade global leaders to act decisively on the issue.
Similar climate events were reported in 2,000 locations around the world.
The march is campaigning, among other issues for curbs on harmful carbon emissions which contribute to global warming.
At last count, 2,129,060 people around the world had also signed a petition calling for world leaders to take bold action at the UN Climate Summit on September 23. The petition was handed over to the UN chief on the march route.
Chanting slogans and playing music, marchers created a noisy carnival atmosphere as they filed through Manhattan.
Many were dressed in costumes associated with indigenous groups while others wore protest T-shirts. People held banners in the shape of a road sign warned “Climate Crisis Ahead”.
March organizers Avaaz’s Executive Director Ricken Patel said it was crucial for people to get out onto the streets as there is a “huge gap between the action our survival requires and the action our governments are willing to take,” on climate change.
“The street is where we close that gap,” he said.
“We are rushing headlong into catastrophic tipping points in our climate system,” Patel said. “We need action fast to transition to a 100 per cent clean energy economy.”