The People's Climate March, Flood Wall Street, and the New York Climate Summit
In Matthew Rimmer (Ed.) Intellectual Property and Clean Energy: The Paris Agreement and Climate Justice. Singapore: Springer, 2018, xiii-xvi.
Posted: 10 Aug 2018 Last revised: 30 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 29, 2018
This book on Intellectual Property, Clean Energy, the Paris Agreement and Climate Justice was conceived of on the streets of New York, as I joined the People’s Climate March in 2014. The People’s Climate March on the 21st September 2014 was organised and designed to galvanise popular support for the United Nations Climate Summit being held in New York on the 23rd September 2014. The event was massive, with hundreds of groups, and hundreds of thousands of people, participating in the event. 400,000 people joined the parade in New York. The People’s Climate March was supported by hundreds of other companion events around the world, calling for climate action. I joined the Science Stands contingent at the People’s Climate March. The group marshalled outside the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. There was a platoon of scientists, wearing white lab coats and carrying placards. The scientists wheeled along a blackboard, depicting the state of climate science. The board declared, ‘The “Debate” is Over. The Facts are In. The Evidence is Clear. Science Stands for Climate Action.’ The group carried a large banner as well entitled, ‘The Debate is Over.’ There were also a bevy of charts — ‘CO2 is rising!’, ‘The Oceans are acidifying!’, ‘Glaciers are melting!’ Citing Bill Murray’s character in Ghostbusters, the scientists also carried a banner, ‘Back off Man, I am a Scientist.’ The event also featured a number of other sections. Frontline groups included those people who were most impacted by climate change – such as Indigenous communities and environmental organizations. Generational groups included labor organisations, families, parents and their children, and elders. Environmental groups covered renewable energy, food activists, and water defenders. There was a section for protest groups. There was an interfaith group. There was also miscellaneous groups – covering various geographical entities from throughout the Uni9ted States. There was also a range of other events in the United States and around the world. Reflecting upon the People’s Climate March, Bill McKibben stressed the importance of the popular demonstration of support of climate action at an international level. He noted: ‘Day to day this resistance is rightly scattered, local and focused on the more mundane: installing a new zoning code, putting in a solar farm, persuading the church board to sell its BP stock’. In his view, the People’s Climate March in New York was a great moment to ‘show the world how big [the climate justice movement had] gotten.’
Keywords: The People's Climate March, Flood Wall Street, The New York Climate Summit, The Paris Agreement, Climate Law and Policy, International Law, Technology Transfer, Climate Activism
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