By May Boeve – 350.org
This weekend, the world stood tall. What I saw on the streets of New York City and in pictures from around the world, was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in its scale, unity and beauty.
This is a short video, but it’s a taste of what I mean:
Yesterday over 125 world leaders met at the UN for the big climate summit. The headline was that more leaders than ever had gathered to talk about this particular issue — but here is what I think is just as important:
When those heads of state walked into the UN, they had the sounds of the largest climate mobilization in world history still ringing in their ears. A huge number of our allies were still in the streets in New York, laying out a strong vision for a transition away from fossil fuels, bringing the fight to polluters, and identifying solutions that are already in progress. Every speaker in the opening ceremony of the summit spoke of the power of our actions this weekend.
World leaders gathered in New York City didn’t plan to sign a new agreement this week. The next important UN gatherings will be in Lima in December 2014 and in Paris in December 2015. Our hope is to use people-power to ratchet up the pressure on these talks, to channel the voices of millions around the world to increase the accountability and ambition of world leaders in these negotiations.
If they are serious at all about doing their democratic and moral duty, they will need to be ambitious indeed — committing to transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy which benefits everyone, and quickly.
The struggle is not around these summits alone. We’ll have to keep pressure on climate polluters and those who invest in them; we’ll have to turn our communities into models for solutions; and we’ll have to convince politicians that their careers are on the line if they don’t act.
Our purpose in marching around the world is to show that without a doubt there is a mandate to act at the level science and justice demand. After this weekend, we can look them in the eye and say that yes, there is — and insist that they join us on the march towards action.
We need to carry this feeling with us as we move forward. Click here to watch the reportback video and see key stats and new articles from around the world.
Thank you, so many times over. It’s an honor to fight alongside you.
P.S. Just an hour ago, we got news that 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben (and 350.org itself) just won the “Right Livelihood Award,” which is known as the ‘alternative Nobel Prize’ — click here to watch a video from him about the award and what this kind of recognition means for our work together.