People's Climate March

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Climate change impacts everyone, everywhere – but the effects of climate change are not distributed equally. Frontline communities, from across the United States and the Global South, are most vulnerable to climate change and must therefore play an integral role in planning for transformational change.

In the winter of 2014, NYC-EJA, our members and other key partners began organizing a response to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for world leaders to gather at a global Climate Summit in September 2014. That response became the People’s Climate March – the cornerstone of a week of grassroots action in response to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s challenge.

NYC-EJA was a key partner and co-coordinator of the historic People’s Climate March – a climate mobilization unmatched in size, diversity, and impact. With an estimated 400,000 participants, 1,500 organizational sponsors, and over 2,000 solidarity marches and rallies across the globe, the People’s Climate March in September 2014 was the largest climate march in history.

NYC-EJA’s participation in the People’s Climate March was an extension of our work advocating for community resiliency and climate justice in New York City’s low-income communities and communities of color.  As a member of the Climate Justice Alliance, we are working with frontline communities across the United States to address climate change and advocate for a just transition.  As a co-facilitator of the NY-NJ Host Committee, NYC-EJA helped build a growing network of labor unions, environmental justice organizations, social justice, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, organizers, artists, and environmentalists to mobilize for the People’s Climate March. For more information see NYTimes article: Taking a Call for Climate Change to the Streets.

 

 

People’s Climate Justice Summit

The Climate Justice Alliance, including the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network and other allies, hosted a two-day People's Climate Justice Summit following the People’s Climate March in September 2014.  The summit was concurrent with the Climate Leaders Assembly convened by the UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon in New York City.  The Summit delegates convened at the UN Church Center, directly across the street from the UN, and the proceedings were live-streamed for public viewing at The New School on both days. The Summit convened a meeting of frontline community delegations from across the U.S. and around the world - that are both organizing against the root causes of climate change, and cultivating real solutions to address these causes. For more information see archived videos of the People Climate Justice Summit.

 

For environmental justice communities, resiliency is not about “bouncing back” to an inequitable system where people of color and low-income people are disproportionately burdened. Resiliency means “bouncing forward” to a more just, more sustainable future.

NYC-EJA is actively working to leverage the momentum of the March to achieve long-term resiliency goals in New York City. As part of the People’s Climate March planning, NYC-EJA, our members and allies successfully engaged with Mayor de Blasio’s Administration and the New York City Council to unveil bold climate policy initiatives to coincide with the People’s Climate March. NYC-EJA and our member organizations are committed to building on the promise of the March to effect tangible change in our communities. In the lead up to the March, the City showed signs of commitment to continued engagement on climate issues:

  • The NYC Council approved a resolution endorsing the People's Climate March;
  • The NYC Council announced a comprehensive platform to combat climate change and to reduce the city's carbon footprint through a set of legislative proposals; and
  • Mayor de Blasio announced an unprecedented plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% in NYC by 2050 (known as “80 by 50”).

NYC-EJA members and our allies in vulnerable communities will continue to advocate for policies that result in long-term benefits to community resiliency. The long-term horizon for resiliency planning makes it challenging to advocate for public policies that advance healthy, sustainable communities while addressing existing economic, social, and environmental disparities.

 

For more information on similar initiatives, see NYC-EJA's WATERFRONT JUSTICE PROJECT and COMMUNITY RESILIENCY.

 

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Accomplishments

  • On May 20th, 2014, NYC-EJA helped organize a People’s Climate March planning meeting of 200+ local and regional environmental justice groups, community-based organizations, labor unions, organizers, artists, and environmental advocates.
  • On July 1, 2014, NYC-EJA helped organized a meeting of over 500 people at the New School for Social Research to help plan the People's Climate March.
  • On September 10, 2014, NYC-EJA helped organize a 1,000 participant convening at the New York Ethical Culture Society to discuss last minute preparations for the march.
  • With an estimated 400,000 participants, 1,500 organizational sponsors, and over 2,000 solidarity marches and rallies across the globe, the Peoples Climate March became the largest climate march in history on September 21, 2014.

NYC-EJA in the News

Color Lines: The People's Climate March Is Over. Now What? (5/4/17)

Huffington Post: Funding A Better, Broader Environmental Movement (5/3/17)

Color Lines: Must-See Tweets From the People's Climate March (5/1/17)

NY1 Noticias: París Logra un Acuerdo Sobre El Clima (12/21/15)

Observer: The Latest People’s Climate Protest Fights For the Local as Much as the Global
(10/14/15)

EcoWatch: 150+ Events Across America Demand Bold Climate Action in Paris (10/14/15)

Huffington Post: Ripple Effect: The People's Climate March One Year Later (9/21/2015)

Huffington Post: From a March to a Movement: Mobilizing More Than Greens for Climate Action (8/17/15)

NYC-EJA Policy Director, Juan Camilo Osorio (En Español) Video: El debate sobre el cambio climático insta a los mandatarios a actuar (9/24/14)

The Latin Post: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Introduces Sweeping Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Emissions by 80 Percent by 2025 (9/23/14)

New York Times:  Taking a Call for Climate Change to the Streets (9/21/14)

Op-Ed: Why We March: Stepping Forth for a Planet in Peril (9/15/14)

Earth Island Journal: In Review: Disruption (9/9/14)

Common Dreams: 'Disruption': Film Offers Grassroots Global Revolt as Key Answer to Climate Crisis (9/5/14)

Grist: At this year’s big climate rally, most of the people won’t be pale, male, and stale (7/30/14)

The Epoch Times: Coalition Brings Attention to September Climate Change March (7/30/14)

The Indypendent: Organizers Promise Big Turnout for People’s Climate March (7/30/14)

EcoWatch: People’s Climate March—Largest Climate March in World History—Launched in Times Square (7/30/14)

CommonDreams: Climate Justice Movement: Moment Is Now to 'Change Everything' (7/3/14)

Earth Island Journal: Lacing Up for Historic Climate Justice March (6/5/14)