The People’s Climate March on Saturday marks the beginning of an important week in global climate politics. While the main march will take place in San Francisco, you can join one of several partner marches occurring all over the world. The focus? "Climate, jobs & justice" and a fast and fair transition to 100% renewable energy for all. I will be representing Ecosia at the main march in San Francisco. The starting point is at Embarcadero Plaza at 10am – come and join me! Watch out for Ecosia posters or print yours here!
A few days later, 4000 government officials, civil society representatives, and business executives from around the world will join California’s governor Jerry Brown for the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. The summit is highly anticipated, as it brings the US back to the table of global climate negotiations. About a year after the White House announced its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in 2017, this international summit held in California is a big step forward.
California has the reputation of being one of the most environmentally friendly US states and is perceived as a global leader in the climate movement. However, its Governor Jerry Brown has faced a lot of criticism for enabling fracking and drilling for fossil fuel in the state. A search on Ecosia showed me that about 200 million barrels of Crude Oil are being drilled in California every year. According to Brown’s Last Chance, a campaign targeting California’s drilling and fracking practices, more than 20,000 drilling permits have been issued under Brown’s administration.
I believe that wherever large numbers of people come together, they send a message to lawmakers, media outlets, companies, and the general public: "we care about this issue, we want to be heard and we want things to change". Peaceful protest can be a very powerful tool. It puts pressure on politicians who don’t want to lose voters. It also pressures business leaders who don’t want to lose customers. To journalists, it indicates that an issue that is big enough to mobilize thousands of people should be investigated and broadcast. Whether it’s passing laws to ban microbeads, lightweight plastic bags, or plastic straws and other single-use plastic items, there are examples that, in my opinion, prove how scientific research, public protest, and environmental legislature can work and have a big impact.
Reforestation, sustainable farming, efficient resource and energy use, access to birth control, and a timely energy transition can all help cool the climate considerably. Moving to 100% renewable energy on a global level, enforced by laws and taxes or incentivised by subsidies and price breaks, would be a big step forward.
To us at Ecosia, all of this is well worth marching for. So wherever you are on Saturday, join us and fight for the future of our planet!