On Sunday, more than 300,000 demonstrators gathered in New York City to participate in what many have called the largest climate change demonstration in history.
The People's Climate March kicked off its two-mile route at 11:30 am. in the Upper West Side of Manhattan beside Central Park. Joined by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, among other notable leaders, protesters held signs, flags and banners demanding action ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit this week, USA Today reported.
"I'm totally passionate about our planet and what's happening with our life here," Heather Snow, 57, told USA Today. "The whole Congress, everyone has gone insane, and it's time to end the insanity. I don't know how, I don't know when, but it's got to happen soon. We're running out of time."
According to spokesperson Maryam Adrangi, local organizations decided to hold the march shortly after learning that this year’s UN Climate Summit would take place in Manhattan on Sept. 23. The goal of the People's Climate movement, which includes the march and a subsequent series of events throughout the week, is to pressure the world leaders and more than 100 heads of state who are attending the summit to take steps to reduce carbon emissions.
"With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history,” reads the People’s Climate March Facebook page.
"Together, we’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet. A world safe from the ravages of climate change. A world with good jobs, clean air, and healthy communities for everyone.”
Ban called for the summit to urge governments to support an international pact to dramatically reduce global warming pollution. Greenhouse gases are said to be at their highest concentrations in at least 800,000 years, mostly fueled by burning fossil fuels like coal, The Courier-Journal reports.
For more information on the People’s Climate March and the weekly schedule, head to PeoplesClimate.org.
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(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)