The UN Climate Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York City on 09.23.14 was assembled to garner support for an agreement that would limit the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature, an initiative that would require international input. Before the world leaders and industry experts even convened, 400,000 people from all over the world took to the streets of NYC to demand climate justice and political change. On 09.21.14, the whole world was watching the People’s Climate March.
The march sent a powerful message to the UN: the world’s citizens are frustrated with government inaction towards climate change. AIANY members, staff, and friends marched alongside other allies and advocates representing an enormous range of disciplines and priorities. The movement was all-encompassing, and everyone was united in sharing the same goals. The AIANY group joined fellow Green Building Contingent organizations – New York Passive House, GreenHomeNYC, Regional Plan Association, Solar One, and Urban Green Council – in the “We Have Solutions” group, which included renewable energy, food and water justice, environmental organizations, and more.
The crowd swelled, totaling about 100,000 people more than the organizers had anticipated, creating a standstill in the streets. Marching bands, puppets, and banners kept spirits high, and a moment of silence followed by raucous cheer brought attention to the need to remember victims of climate change.
Eventually, the march proceeded. After heading down Central Park West to Columbus Circle, marchers moved east on 59th Street, down 6th Avenue to 42nd Street, west on 42nd Street to 11th Avenue, and then south to 34th Street. The enthusiasm throughout the march was inspirational. AIANY maintained the momentum with Ed Mazria’s presentation at the Center for Architecture on 09.23.14, and will continue with related events and policy initiatives.
Emma Pattiz is the AIANY Policy Coordinator. For more information on AIANY policy initiatives and programs, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.