No 'Plan B' for Climate Action as There Is No 'Planet B'


Human Wrongs Watch

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 21 September 2014 told what is thought to be the largest ever march in the United States demanding measures to halt the advance of global climate change, that there is no “Plan B” for action as there is no “Planet B.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) at the People’s Climate March held in New York City, ahead of the Climate Summit he is hosting at UN headquarters on 23 September. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Speaking to journalists after walking with an estimated 300,000 demonstrators on the People’s Climate March through New York City on Sunday he said the world needs to “galvanize our action” and harness the people’s “power to change.”*

As the clock ticks down to the Secretary-General’s much-anticipated Climate Summit at UN Headquarters two days from now [23 September 2014], politicians, celebrities, activists and the general public marched though the city to highlight global concerns about a lack of international action to stop the deleterious effects of climate change.

The People’s Climate March

The People’s Climate March is part of a worldwide campaign to persuade global leaders to act decisively on the issue.

Marchers created a noisy carnival atmosphere as they filed through Manhattan’s West Sida. Many were dressed in costumes associated with indigenous groups others wore protest T-shirts. One banner in the shape of a road sign warned “Climate Crisis Ahead”. Many chanted slogans, others played music.

Twelve-year old Marija Borozan from New York City was on her first ever protest march. “The world matters” she said, “I want to save the environment,” she told a reporter from UN Radio.

Similar climate events were reported in 2,000 locations around the world.

Crucial for People to Get Out Onto the Streets

Ricken Patel, the Executive Director of the march organizers Avaaz, said it was crucial for people to get out onto the streets.

“It’s important because there’s a huge gap between the action our survival requires…and the action our Government are willing to take,” on climate change, he said. “The street is where we close that gap.”

The People’s Climate March is campaigning, amongst other issues for curbs on harmful carbon emissions which contribute to global warming.

“We are rushing headlong into catastrophic tipping points in our climate system,” said Patel. “We need action fast to transition to a 100 per cent clean energy economy.”

The UN chief joined the march with the New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio as well as the French sustainable development minister, Ségolène Royal.

More than 120 Heads of State and Government

Ban’s Climate Summit on Tuesday, 23 September, is expected to draw more than 120 heads of State and Government to galvanize action on climate change.

He said he hoped what people were saying at the march will be “truly reflected to the leaders” when they meet two days from now. “Climate change is a defining issue of our time,” he added. “There is no time to lose. If we do not take action now we will have to pay much more.”

It is expected that Governments will come to the Summit with concrete initiatives and that it will provide significant momentum for a global agreement on tackling climate change.

It is hoped a deal will be reached in Paris, France next year. (*Source: UN Release).

Ahead of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Climate Summit, UN Headquarters becomes canvas for "Illuminations" projection display. 20 September 2014 UN Photo/Mark Garten

Ahead of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Summit, UN Headquarters becomes canvas for “Illuminations” projection display. 20 September 2014 UN Photo/Mark Garten

UN Headquarters Become Canvas Inspiring Action on Climate Change

On 20 September 2014, in the lead-up to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Summit, the United Nations lit up its iconic Headquarters complex in New York with a spectacular 30-story architectural projection show aimed to inspire global citizens to take climate action.**

Entitled “illUmiNations: Protecting Our Planet”, and organized in partnership with the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) and Obscura Digital, the projections were shown on the white marble west facade of the UN General Assembly Hall and north facade of the Secretariat building from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday evening.

With its striking scenes, the display provided a breathtaking visual reminder of what is at stake as Member States, as well leaders from finance, businesses, civil society, and the public and private sectors, prepare to gather at the UN Tuesday, 23 September.

The Secretary-General’s Climate Summit aims to catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political action toward a meaningful, robust, universal, and legal climate agreement by 2015.

“We must make our voices heard. These exceptional projections being shown at the United Nations will help draw attention to the need to make climate action a reality in every community and every society,” Mr. Ban urged in a press release on the event, which was organized in partnership with UN Department of Public Information

The OPS was expected to kick off illUmiNations with the arrival of professional racecar driver and environmental activist, Leilani Münter, in a specially-designed electric Tesla vehicle outfitted with a high-tech mobile projection unit.

The Biggest Story on the Planet

“I think it’s the biggest story on the planet,” said Louis Psihoyos, who founded the OPS Society and directed the 12-minute piece, which will be shown in a loop on Saturday night, then be dismantled. A video of the event will be posted on YouTube next week.

“This event is all about inspiring people,” he added about the display, which was expected to include a 3 minute solutions segment with the photographic works of Yann Arthulic Informatoins-Bertrand, telling the story of climate change and highlighting actions that Governments, businesses, industry and civil society can take to shift toward a low-carbon economy and strengthen adaptation strategies.

The finale of the projection show was set to included the photographic works of Sebastião Salgado.

“There’s no bigger billboard on the planet,” says Academy Award-winning producer Fisher Stevens, who produced the work. “The projections that will stream across the UN General Assembly Hall and north Secretariat building are a call to action on the most urgent issue of our times.” (**Source: UN Release).

Read also:

Economic Growth Possible Even While Tackling Climate Change — Report

‘We Are Running Out of Time’, Experts Warn as Climate Change Debate Heats Up

Climate Change Impacting Entire Planet, Raising Risk of Hunger, Floods, Conflict – UN Report

Impact of Climate Change Could Reverse Decades of Development in Africa ‘Majestic’

Greenland Provides First-hand Look at Impacts of Human-induced Climate Change

Bangladesh: the Crippling Cost of Climate Change Adaptation

Overall Energy Consumption for Lighting Will Have Grown by 60 to 70% by 2030 with dramatic consequences for climate change

Looming Problems: Not Enough Energy; Too Much of Climate Change

Clean Energy, Water Strategies to Halt ‘Runaway’ Climate Change – Experts 

The ‘Future We Want’, Nowhere to Be Found in Rio+20

Demand for Life’s Essentials: 50% More Food, 40% More Energy and… 35% More Water

Food Inequality Equation: 1.5 Billion Obese; 925 Million Hungry

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