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 an end to the age of fossil fuels and a just transition to 100% renewable energy for all. You can see more of beautiful images, videos and messages people shared on the Rise for Climate site and find out what’s coming next – but first here are just some of the highlights to celebrate from yesterday!
The global day of action kicked off with the sunrise 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. Communities mobilized for 100% renewables and an end to fossil fuels to keep warming below 1.5 degrees. The kikonang coconut leaf windmills were a unifying symbol in actions at 19 events across 15 island nations.
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 the Philippines and Thailand, women and young people led powerful marches to demand a Fossil Free world, 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.
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.
Thousands took part in actions across the African continent. 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
Three cities – two in Ukraine and one in Georgia – made commitments to 100% renewable energy by 2050 during #RiseForClimate. 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.
France saw its largest climate mobilization in history with 150,000 people taking action in the country, in the wake of the shock resignation of its Environment Minister in despair at the government’s slow progess. Other in cities like Madrid, Lisbon, London, Stockholm, Munich and Berlin stood with them at their own marches and protests. Copenhagen saw its highest turnout at a march for climate since the disappointing 2009 UN climate talks – with 15,000+ in attendance.
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.
30,000+ people turned out in San Francisco for the West Coast’s biggest climate mobilization in history. After the rally, people worked together on the world’s largest street mural. In New York, thousands gathered to call on elected officials to make real commitments to 100% renewable energy. People organized events in all 50 states, around 260 total. In Canada, First Nations communities and activists held rallies along the proposed route of the TransMountain pipeline.
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.