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Hundreds of thousands of people including UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon thronged onto the streets of New York City on Sunday to peacefully march in support of an international day of action on climate change.
The event comes two days ahead of the global United Nations climate summit in New York to chalk out strategy for forming stringent and sustainable climate policies.
Ban Ki-moon has convened more than 120 world leaders on the global platform on September 23 (Tuesday) in the American city, hoping for ‘bold pledges’ as part of preparatory work on the UN agreement, which is due to be agreed in Paris towards the 2015-end, to limit carbon emission levels by every member country to check climate change and global warming.
According to a spokesperson of the New York Police Department, no untoward incidents were reported during the demonstration as the march was largely peaceful.
During the demonstration, US senators Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont, marched along the city’s Central Park to mark a moment of silence at 12:58 p.m. (1658 GMT).
Ban, who was wearing a T-shirt that read “I’m for climate action”, marched arm-in-arm with French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal and British primatologist Jane Goodall for the environmental cause.
“This is the planet where our subsequent generations will live. There is no ‘Plan B,’ because we do not have ‘Planet B,” the UN Secretary General said urging for huge consensus on cutting carbon emissions.
The streets in the New York City witnessed the largest ever crowd in the history of climate related protest as the people’s turnout exceeded the organizers’ hopes.
Organizers had estimated turnout of some 310,000 people ranging from environmentalists and political personalities to celebs and commoner, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former US Vice President Al Gore, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, elected US officials and several others who joined the People’s Climate March abroad.
“The huge turnout is beating our wildest expectations. In 2,500 marches from Paris to Bogota, we have blown past expected numbers,” Ricken Patel, executive director of activist group Avaaz that organized the march, said while adding, “Climate change is not a green issue anymore, it’s now an everybody issue,”
The largest ever New York rally that called for cutting carbon emissions followed numerous similar events across 166 countries including Afghanistan, Britain, Bulgaria and France. According to the organizers, another 270,000 people had participated in similar events outside New York.
The environment lovers walked peacefully while matching each other’s footsteps, singing and chanting for the environmental cause.