Thousands of protestors will cram the streets of New York City this Sunday, calling on world leaders to help stop climate change. But they’ll also have another message: “Welcome to a new chapter in the fight against global warming. This time it’s going to work.”
The People’s Climate March is expected to be the biggest-ever collective action against global climate change, and organizers are hoping the protest will mark a watershed moment in their fight.
For years, scientist and activists have been pleading for coordinated action to halt the warming of the planet, but world leaders have repeatedly failed to rise to the challenge. Since the disastrous United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen in 2009, global summits have not forged worldwide consensus on how to achieve the U.N.’s stated goal of restricting any future global temperature increase to no more than two degrees Celsius.
This weekend’s march is set to coincide with another one of these global meetings: The U.N. Climate Summit 2014. No decisions will be made at the event, which will be attended by 125 world leaders, including President Obama. But the summit will lay the groundwork for landmark U.N. climate conferences this December in Lima and next year in Paris.
Despite the failures of the past, organizers of the People’s Climate March see at least three reasons to hope this year.