People out in force, Paris under pressure to deliver


From Dhaka to Tokyo, Geneva to Jakarta, citizens around the world made their voices heard today, and their message was clear: the fossil fuel age is over. On the eve of the Paris Climate Summit, in over 2,300 events across 175 countries, at least 785,000 people of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs took to the streets to call in unison for a fairer, cleaner, safer world. Some of the biggest marches so far included Melbourne with 60,000, London with 50,000, and Sydney with 45,000. But even towns high up in the Himalayas, on low-lying islands in the Pacific, or in the Latin American rainforest saw hundreds gathering to march, dance or cycle for climate action. In Cairns protesters took refuge from the extreme heat by protesting in a lagoon, while in many European cities protesters weathered pouring rain and strong winds to join the action. In Paris, where marches were officially banned, thousands of people found creative ways to stand up for a future powered by 100% renewables. Today’s events mark one of the biggest global mobilizations for climate action ever, and show broad support across all sectors for the transition from dirty to clean energy. Heads of State arriving in Paris for ‘leaders’ day’ tomorrow are facing growing pressure to finish the Climate Summit with a successful outcome, using the strong momentum and the public mandate they have been given this weekend.



Key Points

  • On the eve of the Paris Climate Summit, more than 785,000 people participating in more than 2300 events in at least 175 countries have raised their voices in support of climate action. In a showcase of the breadth and depth of the climate movement, people from all walks of life – including faith leaders, medical professionals, parents groups and environmental activists – took to the streets, calling on governments to keep fossil fuels in the ground, scale up the transition towards 100% renewable energy, and protect people from worsening climate impacts. Ten countries including Australia and UK broke local mobilization records, while people in countries as diverse as Mongolia, Saudi Arabia and Samoa also took part, and in Ecuador rainforest communities that usually avoid contact with the outside world participated in local actions.
  • Despite bans on marches and heightened security measures across France, people in Paris also made their voices heard. 22,000 shoes – including those of Pope Francis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon – were placed at Place de la Republique on Sunday, on behalf of the 400,000 people who were expected to have marched. Afterwards, 10,000 people peacefully held hands in solidarity with frontline communities affected by climate change. Representatives of faith-based campaigns from across the world united to deliver petitions signed by more than 1.7 million people of faith to the UN – also calling for a fair and ambitious Paris climate agreement. As world leaders are heading to Paris for meetings on Monday, the moral imperative and the public mandate for action are clear for everyone to see.


You can find a host more resources including report, blogs, infographics, and video related to the Paris conference in our COP21 SPECIAL ALERT RESOURCE PACK.




Tools and Resources

Key Quotes


  • “As Pope Francis well reminds us, climate change is a profound moral crisis and a matter of justice towards the poor and future generations. That is why the Catholic community is mobilizing at a massive scale demanding climate justice, by collecting more than 800,000 Catholic Climate Petition signatures for world leaders in Paris and by joining the Global Climate March in all major cities around the world.” – Tomás Insua, Global Coordinator of GCCM
  • “We commit ourselves to undertake a permanent effort to increase awareness about climatic challenges for our communities, as an expression of our concerns for the Earth” – Declaration by religious and spiritual leaders for the United Nations Conference on climate change, COP21
  • We appeal to all members of our communities to act in full awareness of the challenges of the COP21, and alter their way of life accordingly” – Declaration on the climate crisis of the Conference
  • of religious leaders in France

NGOs around the world

  • “The charge from the streets for leaders to act on climate has been deafening, with record numbers turning out across the world. Over 570,000 people are calling with one voice for global leaders to deliver a 100% clean energy future at the Paris climate summit. Despite events being cancelled across France, global actions were larger than last year’s massive march in New York, breaking records in Bangladesh, Australia, Britain and more.” – Emma Ruby-Sachs, Campaign Director of Avaaz
  • The voices of people all around the world calling for climate action are echoing in the streets of Paris and must now ring in the ears of world leaders meeting at the summit tomorrow. Millions of people have shown they expect the best possible climate deal for the world’s poorest people already hit hardest. For the future of us all, world leaders must aim high and deliver. Kelly Dent, Climate change lead, Oxfam
  • In Paris, we joined hands today against climate change and violence. People here and hundreds of thousands who are taking part in climate marches worldwide, have a clear message for world leaders: keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy. – Hoda Baraka, global communications manager,
  • We joined the March to tell heads of state that they’re negotiating our future and they must do more. We demand a clear, fair future. Liam Upson, activist, UKYCC
  • Addressing climate change, and ending poverty and inequalities are two sides of the same coin. We cannot deliver sustainable development without tackling climate change, and we cannot tackle climate change without addressing the root causes of poverty, inequality and unsustainable development patterns. If leaders want to fully implement the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at tackling inequality and ending poverty within a generation, they will need to adopt and implement a transformative agenda at the COP21. – Amitabh Behar, national anchor, action/2015 India
  • We the citizens of Uganda we have demonstrated our will and commitment to tackling the challenge of climate change, Government of Uganda and the developed countries should provide leadership, Resources and policy guides on the implementation of the commitment. – Isaac Kabongo, chairperson, Climate Action Network Uganda
  • The marchers on the streets in Beirut and Cairo show that the Arabs do care about climate change and it is in their agenda as our region is also very vulnerable and we are already having extreme weather events. The mobilization is a call from our people for the leaders in  COP21 to sign a binding agreement that is fair for all. Safa’ al Jayoussi Head of Climate & Energy Campaigns at IndyACT
  • Poverty and climate change are inextricably linked and as extreme climate worsens it is the poorest of our communities that will be hit the hardest – unacceptable when they are the least to blame. If we don’t tackle climate change now, we will undermine all the incredible progress we have already made in eradicating poverty. This weekend hundreds of thousands of people, including many in vulnerable communities, have taken to the streets around the world calling on governments attending COP21 to take urgent action. World leaders must respond to this huge outcry by delivering a bold new international agreement to tackle climate change. Stephen Brown, European Director at Global Citizen, speaking from Paris
  • Climate change is already a reality for us, we are feeling the impacts every day and we are suffering now. From severe floods to droughts, people are already losing their lives and their livelihoods. We have been marching because we want to send a message to leaders meeting at COP21. They must hear our message loud and clear; our lives matter. They must act now for all of our futures, before it is too late. Henda Gandamanah, action/2015 coordinator in Indonesia, speaking from the march in Jakarta
  • Children are on the frontline of climate change. In the world’s poorest countries they are already feeling the effects of climate change, despite being least responsible for its causes. This weekend, as part of the Global Climate March, hundreds and thousands of people, including many children and young people, have called for urgent action to fight climate change. When leaders meet in Paris this week they must remember that the decisions they will take now will affect generations to come. Now is the time for a strong deal for climate action. – Kirsty McNeil, Director of Campaigns at Save the Children, a member of action/2015 attending the London Climate March

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