Over 250,000 people took part in #RiseforClimate marches and actions on 7 continents. All across the planet, people are leading the way for politicians and calling for a fossil free future powered by 100% renewable energy for all. We saw real climate leadership rising from the grassroots, up. Here are just some of the highlights to celebrate. You can see more of beautiful images, videos and messages people shared on the Rise for Climate site.
The global day of action kicked off with the sun rising over the Pacific islands. Activists in Fiji held a talanoa discussion to share stories of the power of wind energy and other forms of renewable energy, before setting out to sail around Suva Bay. Across the region, communities mobilized in support for renewable energy, calling on decision-makers to prevent global temperature increase beyond 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels. The kikonang coconut leaf windmills were a unifying symbol in actions at 19 events across 15 island nations and the diaspora. The kikonang is a symbol of #PacificPawa and the immediate need to to transition to renewable energy
“We rise for our elders past. We rise for our people present. We rise for a fast and fair transition to a fossil free world.” – Isso Nihmei, Vanuatu Coordinator of the Pacific Climate Warriors
Australia and New Zealand
In Australia and New Zealand, communities came together to take a stand against coal oil and gas, and for a rapid and just transition to renewable energy. A #RiseForClimate tall ship sailed past the iconic Opera House into Sydney Harbour. Over 40 actions spanned Australia, from big crowds in Melbourne calling for an end to Australia’s dirty coal habit, to the outback in Alice Springs where people mobilized against fracking.
In Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, Pacific Climate Warriors and city inhabitants stood together to say “Oil and Wellington don’t mix!”
In Bangkok women’s rights groups, farmers and environmentalists marched just outside of the UN additional session of climate talks, where negotiators were unsuccessful in hashing out the last details of the Paris Agreement’s rulebook. In the Philippines and Thailand, women and young people led powerful marches, with a focus on ending the age of coal which continues to be a big part of the region’s energy mix despite being the most polluting fossil fuel. In Indonesia, over 300 people were in Jakarta, where faith communities led dialogues about what they can do to lead climate action. In Japan, people targeted major banks to demand they stop funding coal projects, while in Vietnam flashmobs of people wearing painted traditional hats materialized in cities across the country. Also from Vietnam came an amazing Rise for Climate music video – not to be missed. You’ll be singing “Stand Up, Rise for Climate” all day.
“Global Warming is already affecting our livelihoods in the Southern border provinces of Thailand. We cannot afford even a single coal-fired power plant to be built. We are rising to stop coal and call for renewable and sustainable sources of energy.” – Lamai Manakarn, Activist and Representative in Pattani, Southern Border Provinces of Thailand Network
“There are more than 100 million women in Indonesia. I’m rising for women lighting the way protecting our Sacred Earth.” – Hening Parlan, Aisyiyah National Environment Coordinator, Indonesia
The region continues to be hit by serious flooding and climate impacts – but that didn’t stop people turning out to #RiseforClimate in their 10,000s. In the exile home of the Dalai Lama in Mcleod Ganj, India, Tibetan refugees took part in the #RiseForClimate day of action calling for urgent action to protect Tibet’s fragile ecosystem from climate change. In Kathmandu, Nepal students marched for a 100% renewable future – joining 10,000 others in schools across northern India. In Dhaka, Bangladesh people staged an action on the bank of the Buriganga River.
Tens of thousands took part in actions across the African continent, including Egypt, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ghana, Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa. In Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, a 3-day climate summit brought together religious leaders and politicians to discuss the commitments they can make to go renewable. In Kampala, Uganda 25,000 students and parents took part in a massive rally, while in cities in South Africa people came together to send the message that coal is not the way forward.
Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia
Due to amazing people power from local communities, three cities – two in Ukraine and one in Georgia – made commitments to 100% renewable energy by 2050 during #RiseForClimate – a first for the region. There was a historic march up to the parliament in Georgia’s second largest city leading up the commitment. Concerts, bike rides, community consultations, and banner-drops dotted Ukraine, and a beautiful gathering at the Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan saw indigenous peoples calling out for real climate action.
In Paris, over 50,000 people rallied in front of the Hôtel de Ville, following the recent resignation of France’s environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, who criticized the Macron Presidency for treating climate action as an afterthought, despite rhetoric to the contrary. Over 150,000 people joined actions throughout the country, making it the largest climate mobilization in France’s history. In Copenhagen, where the first attempt at a universal climate agreement failed in 2009, over 15,000 people joined the largest march ever to hold European leaders accountable on climate. In Brussels, activists brought the mobilization to the doorstep of the European Parliament, while in Germany activists targeted churches and local governments to divest from fossil fuels. In Katowice, Poland – the town soon to host the next global climate talks – people signed a petition calling for an ambitious 100% renewable future for Silesia, Poland’s coal region, including the City President of Katowice. In Lisbon, Portugal, 800+ people marched to protest the government plans to expand oil and gas drilling permits.
On September 8 and 9, 18 decentralized actions took place all around Turkey. Many ecological organizations also sent their solidarity messages. So far seven mayors declared their commitment to work on the local solutions against climate crisis. We expect this number will increase between September 12 and 14.
Across Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and others countries across Latin America, people took creative and colorful action despite difficult political conditions. In Ituango, Colombia around 400 people from impacted communities stood firm on their right of freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration by taking to the streets of the city, occupying the public space, after being surprised by police who tried to prevent their planned demonstration against the Hidroituango hydroelectric plant and the expansion of fossil fuels. In Bogotá , hundreds of people from activists, social organizations, environmental and artistic collectives took to the streets of the Colombian capital to carry out the ‘Septimazo Climático’. On Independence Day in Brazil, communities across the country urged politicians to declare the independence of fossil fuels. In Confresa, Mato Grosso, natives of the Tapirape people asked for the end of fracking. In Iquitos, Peru, Indigenous leaders and local community leaders hosted a public exhibition of art, speeches, and games to raise awareness of the impact of fossil fuel extraction and climate change on the local Amazon rainforest.
30,000+ people turned out in San Francisco for the West Coast’s biggest climate mobilization in history. After the march, dozens of communities painted the largest street mural using non-toxic tempera and natural clay paint. Each mural showcased their solutions to climate chaos and injustice. Front-line communities, environmentalists, labor unions, racial and social justice activists, civil rights and faith leader, and youth and immigrant groups came together to hold elected leaders accountable days before the Global Climate Action Summit is held in the city. 3,000 people gathered in New York to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and all elected officials move the state off fossil fuels through a just transition to 100% renewable energy. People organized events in all 50 states, more than 300 in total. In Miami, Florida, thousands rallied at a high-profile concert to call attention to the impacts of hurricanes and sea level rise on the city’s communities. In Puerto Rico, 1,500 young people and their families joined together to urge the government to take bold and meaningful climate action, and motivate communities to initiate their own renewable energy projects.In Canada, First Nations communities and activists held rallies along the proposed route of the TransMountain pipeline, protesting against the government’s costly acquisition of the infrastructure from the US-based firm Kinder Morgan, after it had announced plans to cancel the project.
Astrobiologist Cyprien Verseux and colleagues showed support to the global mobilization from the ever shrinking ice shelves of Antarctica, marching through below zero temperatures.
The Global Climate Action Summit opens on Wednesday in California with 100s of city, state and local officials — and your chants will still be ringing in their ears. Thank you to everyone who took part in #RiseforClimate everywhere.