ban-ki-moon-climatesummit21 September 2014: The largest march ever held on climate change issues took place on 21 September 2014, ahead of the UN Climate Summit 2014. The People’s Climate March in New York, US, drew participants from all over the world, civil society groups, private sector, students and youth, and political leaders, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Estimates of the number of participants ranged from 300,000 to 400,000.

Avaaz, one of the civil society groups responsible for organizing the March, hoped that the action in the streets would convince global leaders to take urgent action on the issue. “There’s a huge gap between the action our survival requires, and the action our governments are willing to take,” said Ricken Patel, Executive Director of Avaaz. Marchers showed up with signs with phrases such as, “There is no Planet B!” “Youth for Climate Justice,” and “Climate Change is a Health Crisis!”

Ban, who marched with the crowd, called on the world to harness the “people’s power to change.” The UN Climate Summit, which his office has organized for 23 September 2014, will bring together over 120 Heads of State and Government, as well as leaders from the private and non-governmental sectors. The Summit hopes to build momentum for 2015, when parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will gather for the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21).

Marches all around the world also occurred on 21 September, with climate events reported in 2,000 different locations. [UN Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [IISD RS Sources] [People’s Climate March]