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Climate Marches Planned in 150 Countries Ahead of Paris Summit

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By J Nastranis | IDN-InDepthNews Report


A thousand students from Rizal High School, in Pasig City, Philippines form a human banner that reads: “Act for our Future,” to call for a strong and fair global climate agreement ahead of the international climate talks in Paris. Credit: 350.org

NEW YORK (IDN) - In run-up to the start of the COP21 climate summit in Paris on November 30, hundreds of thousands of people will be taking to the streets in over 2,000 events spread across 150 countries to demand that negotiating parties keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

“While 2015 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history, this weekend (November 28-29) will be a further testament to the unprecedented surge in climate action we’ve seen in the last year and serves to pave the way for further escalation going into 2016. People everywhere are ready for the end of fossil fuels and the dawn of renewables,” said Hoda Baraka, Global Communications Manager for 350.org.

In Paris, where the government has prohibited the climate march from taking place due to security concerns in view of recent attacks in the city, people will join hands to form a human chain from Place de la République to Place de la Nation with participants carrying the placards, signs and artistic visuals initially developed for the march.

“While we’re restricted in Paris, we’ll make sure that our governments hear our call for climate justice loud and clear from all corners of the world,” added Baraka.

There will be huge marches, concerts, rallies, workshops, bike rides and film screenings spanning all continents. Highlighted events include:

Australians will be among the earliest marches across the world, with many thousands gathering in capital cities across the country including Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Perth, as well as Melbourne and Sydney. The marches will be colourful, family friendly events, and will be attended by a diverse range of Australians, including firefighters, faith communities, unions and workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Pacific Islanders, farmers, health professionals, business people, artists and musicians.

Across The Philippines, over 20 events, marches, and rallies are planned. In Manila, 20,000 people are expected to converge in Quezon City as part of a broad march with groups representing climate-impacted communities, faith organization, youth, labor, anti-coal and renewable energy.

In a remote corner of northern Tanzania, more than 1,000 Maasai will march for a global deal on renewable energy through the town of Loliondo, on the edge of the Serengeti National Park, where they've faced government land grabs and extreme droughts, severely impacting their livestock.

Students are coming together in more than 60 distributed events across China including round table discussions, bike rides and screenings.

A number of events will be taking place across the Pacific Islands. Climate marches are planned in Fiji, the Marshall Island and Kiribati, while in Papua New Guinea islanders will mobilise to send an urgent message to world leaders to transition to renewable energy to save their homes and humanity.

In Hong Kong, Taipei and Seoul hundreds are taking to the streets to demand a just transition to 100% renewable energy. In Vietnam a big climate music festival is planned, bringing together more than 1500 youth. In Japan, the marches in Kyoto and Tokyo will feature a mass photo action where people will form one collective image.

Across the United States, marches will take place across the country – from Los Angeles to Austin, to Washington, DC up to New York City, thousands will gather in creative, art-filled actions in the name of climate justice.

Events are planned in Egypt’s two largest cities (Cairo and Alexandria) where thousands will be running to raise awareness on climate impacts and call for urgent climate action.

More than 5,000 cyclists will be taking over the center of Mexico City with marches also planned in Bogota, Colombia, Sâo Paulo, Brazil and Bolivia.

In Kampala, Uganda a huge march is planned to go through the city. The Pope is visiting Africa this week and in Kenya he will receive a letter asking the Vatican to divest emphasising the moral call to divest from fossil fuels and make a just transition towards a world powered by 100% renewable energy.

Baraka said also the divestment movement will be out in force worldwide, joining marches in London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Melbourne, Wellington and other places.

Divestment is the opposite of an investment – it simply means getting rid of stocks, bonds, or investment funds that are unethical or morally ambiguous.

According to 350.org, numerous fossil fuel divestment campaigners have pointed to the stock markets lately to tell trustees that they are losing significant funds by not divesting. Fossil fuel stocks have indeed lost 30 cents on the dollar in the last 21 months alone. That translates to big money when looking at large institutional investor portfolios like pension funds and school endowments.

The reflex response from the Chief Investment Officers, trustees, and investment professionals (not to mention the oil industry) has been: “You’re cherry picking, it’s cyclical.” What they mean is that there are ups and downs in the price of oil and the value of stocks throughout history. They are long-term investors so they should ride this out until oil prices climb back up to $100/barrel and the stocks rise with it.

There is one major problem with calling this a downturn cycle, states 350.org. In fact, by calling low fossil fuel stock prices a normal ride through the peaks and valleys of the stock market, they are ignoring the elephant in the room – climate change. [IDN-InDepthNews – 25 November 2015]

Photo: A thousand students from Rizal High School, in Pasig City, Philippines form a human banner that reads: “Act for our Future,” to call for a strong and fair global climate agreement ahead of the international climate talks in Paris. Credit: 350.org

2015 IDN-InDepthNews | Analysis That Matters

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