UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told what is thought to be the largest ever march in the United States demanding measures to halt the advance of global climate change, that there is no “Plan B” for action as there is no “Planet B.”
Speaking to journalists after walking with an estimated 300,000 demonstrators on the People’s Climate March through New York City on Sunday he said the world needs to “galvanize our action” and harness the people’s “power to change.”
Prior to the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit at UN Headquarters, politicians, celebrities, activists and the general public marched though the city to highlight global concerns about a lack of international action to stop the deleterious effects of 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.
Ricken Patel, the Executive Director of the march organizers Avaaz, said it was crucial for people to get out onto the streets. “It’s important because there’s a huge gap between the action our survival requires – and the action our Government are willing to take,” on climate change, he said. “The street is where we close that gap.”
The People’s Climate March is campaigning, amongst other issues for curbs on harmful carbon emissions which contribute to global warming.
“We are rushing headlong into catastrophic tipping points in our climate system,” said Mr Patel. “We need action fast to transition to a 100 per cent clean energy economy.”
The UN chief joined the march with the New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, as well as the French sustainable development minister, Ségolène Royal.