The People’s Climate March kicked off in Melbourne before dusk on Friday, Nov 27, with a massive turnout of about 60,000 people. Other rallies across Australia are expected to follow suit over the weekend – Saturday and Sunday — to include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Hobart. The marches will set momentum for the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) climate talks scheduled for Nov 29 – Dec 12.
The march on Friday is described as ”massive” and the ”city’s biggest climate march ever.” Chants and oratories opened at the State Library located along Swanston corner La Trobe Streets before the march proceeded to the Parliament House along Spring Street where more speeches were made.
Australian organisers and participants include a wide spectrum of conservation groups, political parties, medical and health professionals, superannuation funds, indigenous people, community groups, clean energy businesses, farmers, families, and other civic groups and individuals.
The Melbourne turnout calls for other cities to do the same and to demonstrate their support for a strong climate action. Paris announced it will ban all climate rallies along its boulevard and other public places as the city plays host to the climate talks. The ban will be enforced for security reasons in the aftermath of the terror attacks on Nov 13. The conference has also been reduced to a “negotiation” event – without celebrities and entertainment. Those who cannot march are also asking march partners elsewhere to march for them. A website has been opened for this purpose:
“If you can’t make your voice heard in the country where you live, make it count somewhere else in the world. Marchers from all over the world are ready to carry your message on your behalf.”
The Paris climate talks will see representatives of around 200 countries coming together to forge a binding agreement on capping carbon emissions as a way to limit the earth’s temperature below two degrees Celsius by 2050. This climate talk is said to be the last chance to seal an agreement.