NEWS

UN Climate Summit: Vancouver joins thousands in worldwide rallies

09/21/2014 05:28 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:03 EDT
More than a thousand Vancouverites filled the CBC Plaza, joining hundreds of thousands more around the world as 125 world leaders converge on New York City in an historic UN summit on climate change, Tuesday.

Rallies are underway or have happened in New York, London, Berlin, Paris, Rio, Toronto and Seattle. More than 2000 events were registered in more than 130 countries.

In New York City, the march there is well on its way to being the largest and most diverse showing for climate change ever in the U.S.

he Vancouver, the event billed as the People's Climate March, saw crowds gathering in the plaza prior to marching through downtown Vancouver  Oganizers provided music and DJ's,  which helped contribute to the event's largely festive mood.

People's call to action

Rally participants say they hope this kind of worldwide support will move nations closer to global agreements to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. 

Owen Madden is the climate campaigner for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee. He says Canadians have been far too easy on their politicians when it comes to that issue.

"Especially next year being a federal election time, start demanding climate leadership from your representative," he said. "Start asking them what are they going to do, on climate? What's their party position on climate?"

Madden says people in the Vancouver area have special reason to be concerned because of pressures to start expanding coal, gas and oil industries along the coast.

One of the rally's organizers, Shirley Samples, said in a news release that as a port, the city “stands as an important gateway for a flood of oil, coal and LNG that would contribute substantially to increasing CO2 emissions to record levels."

Samples also criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to skip the summit. 

“The fact that our own Prime Minister is not attending this summit underlines the need for Canadians to take to the streets to send a clear message to Mr Harper: Canadians understand climate change and we know that you have us on the wrong path," she said.

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