About 400,000 people marched in New York last September as part of global 'people's marches' demanding climate action.
Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky are among a group of high-profile activists, academics and political figures who issued a call to action against climate change on August 27.
The statement, signed by more than 100 people, calls for mass mobilisations on the scale of the slavery abolition and anti-apartheid movements with the aim of triggering “a great historical shift”.
The action aims to pressure leaders ahead of the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris in December. World leaders will gather to discuss a legally binding agreement to tackle the threat of global warming.
The climate activists say in a statement published in the book Stop Climate Crimes: “We are at a crossroads. We do not want to be compelled to survive in a world that has been made barely liveable for us ... slavery and apartheid did not end because states decided to abolish them.
“Mass mobilisations left political leaders no other choice.”
The statement demands the “end of subsidies to the fossil fuel industry” and that government's move swiftly to “freeze fossil fuel extraction by leaving untouched 80 percent of all existing fossil fuel reserves”.
The group also demand that the key figures from the 190 countries involved in the talks properly negotiate beforehand to ensure successful and definitive decisions take place in December.
Bill McKibben, a signatory and founder of environmental movement 350.org, praised the move saying: “Civil society is going to have its say, and noisily if need be.”
“It’s important for everyone to know that the players at Paris aren’t just government officials and their industry sidekicks ... This is a good first step.”
[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]