This blog was written by Jennifer Rennicks, former Senior Director of Policy & Communications at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.Guest Blog | September 18, 2014
This Sunday, September 21st, the People’s Climate March is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people — from impacted community members to business leaders to faith groups — to the streets of New York City to demand action on climate change from global leaders. In the days following the march, 125 heads of state will gather at the United Nations to attend a special summit called by UN Secretary, General Ban Ki-moon, to discuss an ambitious proposal for a global agreement to reduce global warming pollution. Will the presence of thousands of marchers and hundreds of world leaders finally be enough to confront the climate crisis?
Why are people planning to throng the streets of New York City?
Because climate change is real and is already happening. Scientific studies confirm that global temperatures have risen more than 1 degree F over the past 100 years. Because last year was the largest annual leap in greenhouse gas concentrations that we’ve seen since the 1980s, and continued the annual trend of setting a new record each year for the highest greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere than ever before in human history. Because humans are primarily responsible for the amount of heat-trapping gases — mostly carbon dioxide and methane — in our atmosphere and a solution will require human action. Because despite various executive actions, the United States has yet to establish a national policy for reducing greenhouse gases and we’re fast approaching a global tipping point of atmospheric concentrations of these deadly pollutants. Because the world will be watching: the UN Climate Summit that follows the march will be covered by every major news outlet in the world.
What about those who can’t make it to New York City?
A bus ride or plane fight to New York isn’t possible for everyone – but there will be solidarity events happening all around the world with more than 1500 events in 130 countries already scheduled – click here join one in your community. There’s also a way to act on climate change from your computer by submitting a comment to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of their plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. The Clean Power Plan is not a comprehensive, global climate treaty, but its a first, critical step to reduce the pollution that fuels extreme weather events, worsens air quality and raises temperatures. Send a letter today and join NYC’s Climate March or a local climate event this weekend!