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BRIEFING  - October 8, 2014

To learn more about the Millenium Development Goals, click on the graphic

Past Briefings:

Sept 10, 2014
Nuclear arms hindering sustainable development

July 16, 2014
Signs of the Earth’s degradation: Do we care?

July 2, 2014
Access to clean, potable water is a human right

June 18, 2014
Special rapporteur on Right to Food concludes final term

June 4, 2014
A report from the Indigenous Peoples Forum

May 7, 2014
Mentoring and motivating future leaders at the UN

April 9, 2014
Gender equality: He for She Campaign

March 19, 2014
Dominican Sisters International and Yale University at the UN

March 5, 2014
Social protection floors reduce inequality, create security

Feb 19, 2014
‘Humanity divided’: Inequality a barrier to development

Jan 8, 2014
Voices of Femicide

Nov 22, 2013
Superstorm Haiyan: ‘A climate nightmare’ in the Philippines

Oct 23, 2013
From food security to food sovereignty

Oct 9, 2013
Lampedusa shipwreck spotlights perils of migration

Sept 25, 2013
Ban Ki-moon: ‘A life of dignity for all’

Sept 11, 2013
Syria: ‘The only certainty is uncertainty’

July 10, 2013
RIO + 20 one year later… Part II

June 26, 2013
RIO + 20 one year later… Where are we?

June 12, 2013
Saving future generations from the scourge of war

May 8, 2013
Hunger, nutrition, and climate justice: A new dialogue

April 24, 2013
Social Protection Floor: A feasible way to alleviate poverty

People’s Climate March calls for UN action

By Kelly Litt, Dominican Volunteer

On Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, history was made as more than 400,000 people marched through the streets of New York City to call for action and justice on climate change. This being the largest climate march in history was meant to make a loud statement to those gathering for the Climate Summit at the United Nations the following Tuesday.

According to People’s Climate March, there were 2,646 People’s Climate events in 162 countries around the world. People from all over with diverse backgrounds took part in the march and surrounding events. Thousands of artists participated, hundreds of buses came from across the United States, hundreds volunteered, more than 50,000 college students marched, 29 marching bands participated, 26 city blocks were blocked off as participants marched through 80 blocks, all to speak up for our one planet. The New York Times featured four photos and an article about the march on the front page on Sept. 22. Other large news outlets also picked up the story, including TIME, BBC, NBC News, and Huffington Post.

The following Tuesday, Sept. 23, 125 heads of states from across the globe gathered along with business leaders and civil society at the UN as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world to address climate change, encouraged that ambitious steps be taken toward reducing emissions, and mobilized leaders to reach an agreement and vision that will shape the world. This Climate Summit in New York is one of a series that will be followed by a Summit in Lima, Peru in December followed by the UN Climate Summit in Paris in 2015.

On Sept. 24, members of civil society hosted a reportback session to discuss all the events that had taken place regarding the People’s Climate March as well as the Climate Summit at the UN.

Jamie Henn, representing 350.org, a global grassroots organization focused on climate safety and justice, explained that the organizers of the march were hoping for a turnout of 100,000 people. They were astonished when over 400,000 showed up. This huge turnout of people from New York, across the country, and around the world was due to the fact that global citizens care about their kids, they care about the future of the planet, and many worry about losing jobs due to a degrading climate and the continued rise of the fossil fuel industry. The People’s Climate March was led by frontline communities, those who are being continually affected by climate change including indigenous communities and the youth population.

The march aimed to give the heads of states, politicians, and all others who gather at the UN for the Climate Summit a necessary political push to take a stand and make a move on climate change and include it in political agendas as well as in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged governments to take action to address climate change and reminded them of the hundreds of thousands who marched and demanded that their leaders listen.

Maria Theresa Nera from IBON International was one of only 38 members of civil society who was allowed into the Climate Summit at the UN on Sept. 23. She explained that while the summit aimed to put climate change back on the agenda the outcomes seem to have been more of a “show and tell” session by governments. Many governments explained what they already do or plan to do to combat climate change, but the questions still remain as to where the commitments are, where the finances are, and where the means of implementation are.

Many are hoping that this momentum that was built from the People’s Climate March will be sustained and will continue to influence climate negotiations into December and through next year in Paris. With the issue of climate change so urgent, those on the frontlines cannot afford to wait much longer.

Climate change is causing great injustice, disrupting life, and harming our brothers and sisters in our own neighborhoods and around the world. There are seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching which can help promote a just society. These Catholic Social Teaching themes include:

  • Life and dignity of the human person
  • Call to family, community, and participation
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Option for the poor and vulnerable
  • The dignity of work and the rights of workers
  • Solidarity
  • Care for God’s creation

Climate injustice is negatively affecting each of these seven areas. Rooted in Catholic Social Teaching, we are urged to demand that this momentum for change is not hindered or halted.

Margaret Mayce

Margaret Mayce, OP (DLC/Amityville)
NGO in Special Consultative Status at the United Nations
Dominican Leadership Conference
211 East 43 St. Rm 704
New York, NY 10017
email: Margaret Mayce, OP

Dominican Leadership Conference

Building relationships and collaborating in the mission of preaching the Gospel
29000 West Eleven Mile Road
Farmington Hills MI 48336
248-536-3234 Contact: Executive Director