More Than 150 Actions Nationwide Demand Bold Action at Paris Climate Talks
NEW YORK, NY – Just six weeks before critical U.N. talks in Paris, climate justice organizations, labor unions, faith-based groups and regular people from all walks of life are uniting to demand urgent action on climate at more than 150 events around the country.
Organized by the People’s Climate Movement, an outgrowth of the People’s Climate March, today’s National Day of Action (follow at #peoplesclimate) aims to put U.S. and global leaders on notice that the climate movement is growing and expanding every day and is even more committed to tackling the climate crisis than ever.
“Climate change is too big for any one organization or sector to address alone,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “That is why we are building a multi-sector, broad-based movement that that unites communities, led by those on the front lines, to demand bold action and to show those in power that climate change is everyone’s issue.”
The goal of the People’s Climate Movement is to engage communities across the U.S. and create momentum at the grassroots level for bold action on climate. We strive to bring together diverse constituencies, communities and local leaders to collectively voice demands for climate action, particularly in places that are not typically associated with grassroots action on climate change like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Texas and Florida.
“Across our country today, from Denver to Miami, from Seattle to Pittsburgh, Americans are making their voices heard for climate action and a strong and just clean energy economy. Whether it’s faith leaders, working families, civil rights champions or just concerned citizens, communities nationwide are standing up for climate solutions and a strong international climate agreement in Paris this year to move us beyond dirty, dangerous fossil fuels to the health of our families and our planet,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.
Today’s actions are about fighting for a fair and just clean energy economy that provides new jobs and training for workers hardest hit in the transition from fossil fuels, so communities and families can benefit from clean energy technology. America can revitalize its manufacturing and construction industries by investing in energy efficiency, clean energy technologies and sustainable infrastructure. We don’t need to sacrifice economic growth, and we can protect the workers and communities who are most likely to be affected during the transition.
“We must address the human and economic threats that climate change poses while creating an economy that works for us all of us,” said Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “Addressing growing global climate-related turmoil will protect our vulnerable communities while creating the good clean-energy jobs of the future.”
The movement for climate action is growing and getting stronger every day. Workers, farmers, parents, youth leaders, business owners, interfaith leaders, indigenous communities, immigrants’ rights advocates, social justice groups and environmental activists all understand that this fight is their fight.
Young people are also engaged. “I am overjoyed that Miami is anchoring a vibrant and decisive call for aggressive climate action. Our day of action is about uplifting our hopes for this beautifully resilient city that is home to our dreams of a climate legacy deserving of pride, joy, and admiration. A legacy that ensures that under resourced communities and affluent communities alike will not be left to drown as a result of willful neglect. Miami deserves climate action-now!,” said Kaydrianne Young, Organizer and Youth Leader with New Florida Majority.
The impacts of climate change are compounded by economic and social inequality. Low-income communities and developing nations are often hit hardest by the impacts of pollution and climate change, while wealthy communities and nations have disproportionately contributed to the problem.
People are already feeling the harsh effects of climate change in their own communities and backyards, and they’re mobilizing in a band of activism in cities from coast to coast. Reverend Leo Woodberry of Florence, South Carolina saw the human impact of climate change just days ago.
“Recent events like the floods in my home of South Carolina, and disasters nationally and globally, show climate deniers that their continued denial of reality is devastating not only to the planet, but to human lives as well,” said Reverend Woodberry.
Despite the importance of the Paris talks, the People’s Climate movement does not intend to stop there.
“Any agreement that comes out of Paris will not mark the end of our efforts, but rather, it will be an important step in the global process of ending the climate crisis. The next step is to hold nations accountable to their commitments and continue to set the bar high for actions in fighting climate change,” added Paul Getsos, National Coordinator of the People’s Climate Movement.
A sampling of the more than 150 events taking place today nationwide:
The Miami People’s Climate March included faith communities and business leaders as well as labor, social service, social justice, education and student organizations – all of whom are pressing for change. And taking to the streets to demand it.
In Milwaukee, Organizers held a demonstration and rally addressing the climate change crisis that brought together a broad coalition of labor, environmental, peace, interfaith, American Indian, African American and community justice organizations to plan and participate.
In Louisville, community members gathered for a march and rally to celebrate Mayor Fischer’s proclamation of October 14th as “People’s Climate Action Day” in Louisville.
In Silver City, New Mexico, young people held educational events on food security, water conservation, solar power and recycling, along with a video and discussion.
In Cleveland, labor, community organizing and environmental groups gathered by the shore of Lake Erie to call attention to the impact of climate change on the local water supply.
In New York City, Participants gathered at Chase Bank’s Midtown headquarters and the Harlem State Office Building to publicly demonstrate against Chase Bank and other entities’ financial ties to climate change and to call for investment in a clean energy economy that addresses the needs of low-income communities, workers, the unemployed and communities of color.
In Chicago, a coalition marched through the city to urge the governor to implement the Clean Power plan in an equitable way.
In Seattle, a diverse group of marchers took to the streets of Downtown to show that everyone is invested in the fight against climate change, and all voices need to be heard when determining climate solutions.
For more information on today’s National Day of Action, visit www.peoplesclimate.org.
Follow the day’s events on twitter with the hashtag #peoplesclimate.
The People’s Climate Movement National Day of Action for October 14, is being led by organizations from across the movement to protect the planet, including:
32BJ Service Employees International Union, 350.org, Align: The Alliance for a Greater New York, Avaaz, Blue Green Alliance, Center for Community Change, Center for Popular Democracy, Climate Justice Alliance, GreenFaith, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, People’s Climate Movement NYC, Oil Change International, People’s Climate Art, Responsible Endowment Coalition, Sierra Club, Student Divestment Network, UPROSE, US Climate Action Network, League of Conservation Voters