Half a million people took to the streets around the world to march in protest for governments to put climate change at the top of their agendas.

The People’s Climate March took place on September 21, campaigning for reduction in carbon emissions and forcing the governments to set climate change at the top of their agendas. There were 2,808 events held in 166 countries, ahead of the United Nation’s Climate Summit in New York City last week. This summit aimed to achieve a new international treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and pave the way to reach a binding agreement for all the nations of the world in the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21 in Paris.

Half a million people marched in cities around the world, with the largest marches in New York and London. More than 100,000 people stepped out into the streets of Manhattan waving banners like “There is no planet B” and “Employment, Justice and Clean Energy.” The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the French Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal joined the protesters. The recently appointed UN representative on climate change Leonardo Di Caprio, the ex-politician and activist Al Gore and the primatologist Jane Goodall also attended the NYC march.

About 30,000 people joined the march in London chanting “What do we want? Clean energy. When do we want it? Now.” The actress Emma Thompson was one of the public figures among anonymous campaigners.

Words were shouted through a bullhorn: “I myself was lazy to admit the scope of the problem but I realised that other fronts such as the fight against poverty or economic inequality cannot be tackled without tackling the problem at its source. We need a radical change, we must to pressure our leaders into action.”

Divesting non-renewable energies was one of the most acclaimed demands. The activist group Divest demonstrated their point, showing two big oil bubbles near the Big Ben.

“Our battle is the dis-investment in fossil energies,” activist leader Jeff Howard said. “The fracking technique is the latest attempt to impede the transition towards renewable energies. And even worse, governments are taking the bait and going back like 10 or 20 years ago.”

The People’s Climate March organiser and 350.org founder Bill McKibben pointed out the massive attendance to the global rallies and stated the global demonstration is “the fastest-growing anti-corporate campaign ever, and all of the fights trying to put a cork in the fossil fuel bottle.”

Australia faces the loss of the largest coral reef in the world with little consideration from the tourism business sector and the low-environmentally conscious Abbott government. More than 25,000 Indians took part in the global call for protest as their government has not improved the pollution regulation, while the population number is increasing, as is the case in China. Island nations such as Tonga and Papua New Guinea claim for adaptation measures as the sea rise is a threat to their homelands.

Every corner of the world is seeing how its environmental conditions are worsening in a different way, but all of them are based in the risk of survival for living beings. The forthcoming UN summit should give response to this global phenomenon as The People’s Climate March highlighted greatly last week.

Joan Isus, Correspondent (Politics)

Image Courtesy: South Bend Voice (https://www.flickr.com/photos/126015850@N02/15128518019), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic | Flickr