Thousands March with Urgent Message in London: 'Time To Act on Climate!'

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Thousands March with Urgent Message in London: 'Time To Act on Climate!'

'Governments must wake up to the fact that millions of people around the world are calling for an end to our fossil fuel dependency.'

A demonstrator holds a placard outside the British Houses of Parliament during a march against Climate Change in central London, Britain, 07 March 2015. The demonstration organized by Campaign Against Climate Change aims to put pressure on Britain's political parties before the general election to raise the profile of climate change in Britain. (Photo: EFE/EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga)

Thousands of people took to the streets in London on Saturday as they marched on Parliament to demand immediate and aggressive on climate change ahead of the UN summit on the issue which will take place later this year in Paris.

"We must leave dirty coal, oil and gas reserves in the ground if we want to build the clean energy future we so urgently need. The clock is rapidly ticking down – it’s time to act on climate change." —Andy Atkins, Friends of the EarthSpearheaded by the UK-based Campaign Against Climate Change, the protest weaved its way through the city and was modeled as a follow-up to the People's Climate March in New York City last September in which more than 400,000 people voiced their support for a future beyond fossil fuels. Other organizations participating in the march include 350.org, Avaaz, Friends of the Earth, Global Justice Now, Greenpeace, Reclaim the Power, and many other local groups including organized labor and anti-fracking coalitions.

Participants and supporters were using the #TimeToAct2015 hashtag to share photos and updates from the march:

According to the group, "Across the UK people are already building change - from divestment of funds which prop up the fossil fuel industry, to frontline communities fighting unsustainable energy extraction and fracking, through to those paving the way for a transition towards a 100% renewable energy future which would bring about an estimated one million new climate jobs in the UK alone.  We know what needs to be done; the solutions are here now. Climate must be at the top of every politician’s agenda."

"This year is going to be the most important year, this is going to be the start of the biggest mobilization we have seen on this issue of climate change." —John Sauven, GreenpeaceAndy Atkins, executive director of Friends of the Earth UK, said: "Governments must wake up to the fact that millions of people around the world are calling for an end to our fossil fuel dependency. With the crucial climate talks in Paris only months away, politicians must take urgent action to stop the pollution that’s destroying our atmosphere."
 
He continued, "We must leave dirty coal, oil and gas reserves in the ground if we want to build the clean energy future we so urgently need. The clock is rapidly ticking down – it’s time to act on climate change."

Organizers also made their message clear in this video released to promote the march:

"We can have clean energy, we can have clean jobs, we can have clean power if everyone on this planet is to stick together," declared John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK, ahead of the march. "This year is going to be the most important year, this is going to be the start of the biggest mobilization we have seen on this issue of climate change."

"There has never been a better time to demand a justice-based transition away from dirty energy. Fossil fuel giants are on the defensive like never before, along with the politicians who have long done their bidding." —Naomi KleinSending a message of support to the marchers via video, Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein said, "Here we are, with just nine months ahead of those critical climate talks in Paris. It’s not nine months to pressure our leaders to act. We have nine months to act ourselves. Nine months to become the leaders we need. To lead from below, from the streets, from the neighborhoods, from the smallest towns to the biggest cities."

Klein added, "With the anti-fracking movement winning unprecedented victories, the divestment movement spreading around the world and falling oil prices making extreme extraction vastly more costly, there has never been a better time to demand a justice-based transition away from dirty energy. Fossil fuel giants are on the defensive like never before, along with the politicians who have long done their bidding."

Photos from the march:

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