KZN joins worldwide march for action on climate change

2014-09-22 00:00

ACROSS cities and towns in KwaZulu-Natal, people yesterday took to the streets and joined cities worldwide to call for action on climate change.

The march, dubbed the “People’s Climate March”, was organised in response to the United Nations Climate Summit of world leaders taking place tomorrow in New York.

In Howick, marchers took over Goddard Park with placards bearing statements such as “no to new coal-fired power stations”.

It was a similar cry on the march from Alexandra Park to the Pietermaritzburg City Hall, as participants demanded urgent action on the environment.

This was echoed at Durban’s Blue Lagoon as marchers vowed to support the mobilisation. Event organiser Angus Joseph said the event was the start of a larger discourse to set up a citizen action group that will give effect to actual change.

“We encourage citizens to take action, not to wait for authorisation. We feel the event represents the ordinary citizen of Durban, and our response to imagining the future city we want and working towards actualising this dream.”

Organiser of the Howick march, Harriet Lavery-Reynders, said it was imperative for all people to participate as climate change impacts everyone.

“We are sending a clear message to the world leaders at the UN summit [this week] to take meaningful decisions. I’m glad that we had a lot of children and a lot of environmental minded people involved,” said Lavery-Reynders.

Pietermaritzburg environmentalist Megan Lewis said the United Nations’ power to make decisions for the best of people is compromised as negotiations increasingly becoming captured by corporate interests.

“People have become critically aware of the threat to their and their children’s lives and are calling for meaningful action from their governments,” Lewis said.

“It is the power of ordinary citizens to demand their governments to mitigate climate change impacts.”

A massive march, which had been flagged as a biggest climate march in history, saw about 100 000 marchers pouring through central New York yesterday. The big mobilisation is aimed at transforming climate change “from an environmental concern to an everybody issue”.

The UN summit this week, which President Jacob Zuma is attending, will focus on reducing emissions, strengthening climate ­resilience and mobilising political will in preventing future damage to the environment. 


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