'Green Thumbs Up' — The world marches for climate change

Posted Nov 29, 2015 by Karen Graham
In over 2,000 marches and protests in 150 countries around the world this weekend, hundreds of thousands of people joined in demanding that world leaders take urgent action on climate change.
Thousands of marchers rallied in Bangladesh  with many of the world s animals a feature attraction b...
Thousands of marchers rallied in Bangladesh, with many of the world's animals a feature attraction bringing attention to the plight of many species.
From one corner of our planet to the other, people have taken to the streets, in many languages voicing the global climate march message, “Keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.”
As world leaders prepare for the start of the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris, climate activists are joining hands around the world to create a human chain, sending a highly symbolic message that says the world is one, the world wants its leaders to step up and take action on climate change.
Doing the "right thing" is highly dependent on world leaders reaching a truly universal climate pact. The goal of the summit is to reach an agreement to limit average global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), over pre-Industrial Revolution levels by limiting fossil fuel emissions blamed for climate change, reports the AFP.
Let's look at some of the highlights from events that took place on Saturday and Sunday:
Australia held one of the earliest marches, with over 60,000 people taking to the streets in Melbourne. There were also marches in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Perth. Marches were held in the Pacific Islands, notably on Fiji and the Marshall Islands, with other events taking place in Tuvalu and Papua New Guinea.
In Rio de Janeiro, New York and Mexico City, climate change activists used creative ways to highlight the increasing number of superstorms, drought and rising sea levels swamping vast areas if concrete action is not taken soon. With the year 2015 already being labeled the hottest year yet on record, people are becoming more vocal on the need to curb emissions and take care of our environment.
Protesters attend a climate change march on a highway in Manila on November 28  2015
Protesters attend a climate change march on a highway in Manila on November 28, 2015
Noel Celis, AFP
In Nanyuki, Laikipia, Kenya, over 200 people joined the climate march on Sunday, while in Johannesburg, South Africa over 500 people joined in demanding we stop using coal. In Cairo, Egypt, some 2,000 people ran through the streets to raise awareness on the impacts global warming is creating on the environment.
Nanyuki  Laikipia  Kenya.
Nanyuki, Laikipia, Kenya.
Climate Marches and events in the UK take the spotlight
Some of the biggest events this weekend are taking place in London, New York, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Sydney, Manila, Kyoto, and Paris. In London, where over 50,000 people have joined the climate march, the BBC is reporting that over 10,000 people marched from Hyde Park to Whitehall, according to EcoWatch.
Many celebrities have joined in the over 70 events being held in the UK on Sunday, including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, actress Vanessa Redgrave, Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, Green MP Caroline Lucas, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and musician Peter Gabriel.
“The issue is really being taken more seriously and the politicians—I think if they see these numbers too—will begin to act definitely and I hope achieve agreement,” Gabriel is quoted as telling the BBC.
Paris, France, the seat of the climate summit, climate change marches, and other events were generally peaceful. But there was a small group of protesters unaffiliated with the climate movement who clashed with the police, violating the nonviolent pledge that every group involved in the climate coalition here in France has agreed to, said. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on them and the group dispersed.
Protestors clash with riot police during a rally against global warming on November 29  2015 in Pari...
Protestors clash with riot police during a rally against global warming on November 29, 2015 in Paris, a day ahead of the start of UN conference on climate change COP21
Florian David, AFP
But the pitiful minority group has not taken away from the efforts of climate change activists and marchers who descended on Paris with the sole purpose of bringing to the attention of the world's leaders the need for action on climate change, not tomorrow or next year, but now.
A woman rides a bicycle with a placard reading "Climate for Peace"  alongside one of the m...
A woman rides a bicycle with a placard reading "Climate for Peace" alongside one of the many human chains formed across cities in France on November 29, 2015
Romain Lafabregue, AFP
Green Thumbs Up is a weekly column that looks at how environmental trends are impacting our daily lives. For a look at last week's Green Thumbs Up, please go HERE.