People in matching baseball caps march down a street holding environmental placards.
Saturday's Rise for Climate march in San Francisco. Peter Barreras/AP Images for Cool Effect

Preceding this week’s Global Climate Action Summit, thousands rallied for the environment in cities around the world.

This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Tens of thousands of people took part in marches and other events across the U.S. on Saturday, calling for a swift transition to renewable energy in order to stave off the various perils of climate change.

The Rise for Climate protests was spearheaded by what organizers called the largest ever climate march on the U.S. West Coast. The march, which snaked through the heart of San Francisco, came ahead of a climate-change summit in the city this week that will gather mayors and business leaders from around the world.

The San Francisco march, which called for California Governor Jerry Brown to end fossil-fuel extraction in the state, attracted around 30,000 people, organizers said.

An array of activities, including rallies, voter registration drives, and vigils, were scheduled to take place across the U.S., in cities such as Boston, Miami, and Portland, Oregon. Events were also planned in Puerto Rico. In New Orleans, protesters planned to agitate for the halt of the Bayou Bridge pipeline, an extension of the controversial Dakota Access project that last year spurred a lengthy standoff at the Standing Rock reservation.

Hundreds of other actions took place in cities around the world, as part of a coordinated effort to counter what climate activists see as the dangerously regressive policies of Donald Trump’s administration, which has sought to dismantle rules to lower greenhouse-gas emissions and has thrown open vast areas of land and water to drilling.

A person holds a placard reading “I vote for the planet” during a demonstration for the climate in Marseille, France, on Saturday. (Claude Paris/AP)

“Today, people across the country are rising up for climate, jobs, and justice in their communities to fight back against Trump’s toxic agenda and to send a message to every politician that the time for action is now,” said Michael Brune, executive director of environment group the Sierra Club.

“Families living in the shadows of coal plants and oil refineries, losing homes and livelihoods to wildfires and extreme weather, and struggling to make a living wage are coming together because we know we don’t have time to waste.”

The activists’ ire is largely aimed at governors who though relatively progressive on climate issues, such as Brown and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, are deemed not to be ambitious enough in phasing out fossil fuels. On Thursday, several thousand people took part in a climate march in New York City. Ten activists were arrested after blocking the street in front of Cuomo’s Manhattan office.

A week of protests are planned surrounding the summit in San Francisco, with organizers hoping to draw attention to air pollution and social inequity that has tainted California’s economic growth.

“Climate change, economic inequality, the housing crisis, increased criminalization, attacks on immigrant communities—all these challenges are driven by systemic devaluation of the lives of people of color and choosing profit over people and the planet,” said Gladys Limon, executive director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance.

“We are standing up to life-destructive industries, from big oil to natural gas companies, that obstruct progress toward a healthy, sustainable and just society.”

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.
    Equity

    The Geography of Coronavirus

    What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

  2. photo: A lone tourist in Barcelona, one of several global cities that have seen a massive crash in Airbnb bookings.
    Coronavirus

    Can Airbnb Survive Coronavirus?

    The short-term rental market is reeling from the coronavirus-driven tourism collapse. Can the industry’s dominant player stage a comeback after lockdowns lift?

  3. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  4. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  5. Illustration: two roommates share a couch with a Covid-19 virus.
    Coronavirus

    For Roommates Under Coronavirus Lockdown, There Are a Lot of New Rules

    Renters in apartments and houses share more than just germs with their roommates: Life under coronavirus lockdown means negotiating new social rules.

×