Hundreds of thousands of people from
The People’s Climate March, whose organisers claimed it included 580,000 people at at least 2,700 events in 161 countries, happened before a meeting of about 120 leaders at the UN, the first such gathering for five years.
Juggling, singing, blowing synagogue shofars, whistling and beating drums, they chugged along in biodiesel-powered floats. They were joined by celebrities including the actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who was appointed last week as a UN climate change ambassador.
"I think it will make a difference," said Tashina Red Hawk, 10, from the Rosebud reservation in
If nothing is done about climate change, the world is on course for a 4.5C temperature rise, a level that would inflict catastrophes on some of the poorest countries, submerging coastlines as sea-levels rise and scorching fields with heatwaves and drought. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington announced just last week that June, July and August had been the hottest months on record and that 2014 was on course to break the record for hottest year, which was set in 2010.
But the agenda for tomorrow’s gathering in
Instead, the UN said, tomorrow’s gathering would press world leaders to do more: to cut more carbon and, for the rich countries, release more cash to help poorer nations cope with climate change.
Those at yesterday’s protests - which in
“You can’t get 200 people together and not have something get out of it. It’s going to be huge,”said Mark Ruffalo, the actor, who is a prominent supporter of environmental causes. “I don’t know exactly the effect, but I promise you one, five, 10, 15 leaders are going to come out of it, and do something. Somebody is going to want to be a hero."
Richard Chartres, the bishop of
Actor Emma Thompson said: "Every single person on this Earth has the power to change the world. When we all come together, our power becomes irresistible. Now we must use our power to tackle the biggest threat humanity has ever faced."
The designer Vivienne Westwood railed against capitalism in her address: "A triad of [fossil fuel] monopolies, banks and politicians are ruining the planet. If runaway climate change kicks in, then within a generation, there will be very little habitable on the planet and the suffering will be unimaginable."
Marchers’ costumes included polar bear and gazelle outfits. One gazelle, Merlin from