One week from Sunday, as thousands of leaders from around the world come to New York for the UN Climate Summit, tens of thousands of concerned American citizens will be marching in the streets demanding international action to end the climate crisis.
Click here to find out how to join the People’s Climate March.
Organizers are expressing hope that this will be the largest climate march ever. If there ever was a time when the climate needed people to show up in the streets, it is now.
The UN Climate Summit, starting Sept. 23, is working towards an international agreement less formal, and less binding, than a treaty, but averts the need to win over two-thirds of the U.S. Senate for ratification. The goal is for nations to sign the agreement at the next UN Climate Change Conference in December 2015. This month’s summit begins the hard work of deciding what the agreement should say.
One of the many obstacles for an agreement is convincing the rest of the world that America is going to lead and follow through. The more America is willing to do, the more other countries will step up. Other nations may believe Obama is sincere, but they know he only has two more years in office. They cannot know who will take charge in 2017, and if that person will be entering office on a wave of anti-environmental backlash, let alone what Congress might do.
The world wants to know that America as a whole is on board. The stronger the perception that the American people have the Obama administration’s back on climate, the greater the leverage Obama will have to negotiate an effective international deal.
Therefore, when the world sees the streets of New York jammed with people from all walks of life demanding action on climate, that will put the best face on America, and set the stage for a productive, constructive UN summit.
If you are able to make it to NYC on Sept. 21, click here to learn how you can take part in the People’s Climate March.