Last weekend, the world stood tall. What I saw on the streets of Australian cities, in pictures from New York and from around the world, was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in its scale, unity and beauty.
This is a short video, but it’s a taste of what I mean:
This past week, over 125 world leaders met at the UN for the big climate summit. The headline was that more leaders than ever had gathered to talk about this particular issue - but here is what I think is just as important:
When those heads of state walked into the UN, they had the sounds of the largest climate mobilisation in world history still ringing in their ears.
A huge number of our allies were still in the streets in New York, laying out a strong vision for a transition away from fossil fuels, bringing the fight to polluters, and identifying solutions that are already in progress. The politicians themselves spoke to our power in the opening statements of the summit.
World leaders gathered in New York City didn’t plan to sign a new agreement this week. The next important UN gatherings will be in Lima in December 2014 and in Paris in December 2015.
Our hope is to use people-power to ratchet up the pressure on these talks, to channel the voices of millions around the world to increase the accountability and ambition of world leaders in these negotiations.
If they are serious at all about doing their democratic and moral duty, they will need to be ambitious - committing to transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy which benefits everyone, and quickly.
The struggle is not around these summits alone. We’ll have to keep pressure on climate polluters and those who invest in them; we’ll have to turn our communities into models for solutions; and we’ll have to convince politicians that their careers are on the line if they don’t act.
Our purpose in marching around the world last weekend was to show that, without a doubt, there is a mandate to act at the level science and justice demand. Our purpose was also to build the global network of people needed to work together to do what we can do - at home, with our investments, in our coummunity and internationally.
After this weekend, we can look world leaders in the eye and insist that they join us on the march towards action in the months and years ahead.
Thank you, so many times over. It’s an honour to fight alongside you.
P.S. Just this week, we got news that 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben won the "right livelihood award," which is known as the 'alternative Nobel Prize' - click here to watch a video from him thanking you all.