"Change only happens when people rise up to demand it."
That is one of the principal rallying cries of environmentalists around the world who are gearing up for a historic mobilization aimed at highlighting the devastating effects the climate crisis is already having on vulnerable communities—and demanding a just transition to a world without fossil fuels.
"We need an immediate phase out of fossil fuels and a 100 percent renewable world where renewable energy develops alongside increased equity."
"At the core of the fight to tackle the climate crisis is a concern for protecting communities and families—we need to accelerate to a renewable energy world without leaving behind the people who build the economy and power this inevitable transition," noted 350.org, one of the groups that helped organize the 500 Rise for Climate events in over 70 countries, which are set to take place next Saturday.
"We need an immediate phase out of fossil fuels and a 100 percent renewable world where renewable energy develops alongside increased equity, such as the free exercise by workers of their rights to organize for careers that allow them to sustain their families and live and work in healthy and safe workplaces and communities," 350.org continued. "The crossroads we are at for climate, jobs, and justice in the United States has never been clearer."
But next weekend's events—which will kick off just four days ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit—are hardly U.S.-centric.
In addition to headline events in San Francisco and New York City, thousands are also planning to mobilize in Africa, Latin America, Canada, and Europe to demand that their leaders commit to ambitious action to confront the climate crisis at a time when right-wing governments are doing all they can to undermine environmental protections.
"Real climate leadership rises from below," organizers of the worldwide demonstrations declared. "It means power in the hands of people not corporations. It means economic opportunity for workers and justice and dignity for frontline communities that are the hardest hit by the impacts of the fossil fuel industry and a warming world."
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The mass mobilization, which is expected to draw tens of thousands to the streets across the globe, comes as the world's most powerful nation is led by an administration hell bent on intensifying the climate crisis at the behest of Big Oil.
As Common Dreams has reported, the Trump White House is working furiously to kill basic environmental regulations at home while withdrawing the U.S. from cooperative efforts with the global community, like the Paris Climate Accord.
"No more stalling, no more delays: it's time for a fast and fair transition to 100 percent renewable energy for all."
—Rise for Climate
These efforts come as soaring temperatures continue to shatter heat records and extreme weather wreaks havoc in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Saturday's mobilizations, according to 350.org, are aimed at "highlighting the need for real climate leadership in the face of intensifying climate impacts and the ongoing assault on climate and communities from the Trump administration," as well as demonstrating that such leadership must begin at the grassroots.
"No more stalling, no more delays: it's time for a fast and fair transition to 100 percent renewable energy for all," the Rise for Climate coalition declared.
In the face of unrelenting pressure from environmentalists, some state and local governments have begun to move in the direction of 100 percent clean energy.
Last week, as Common Dreams reported, California "became the largest economy in the world to commit to a 100 percent clean energy grid" by 2045.
But to effectively confront the climate crisis, global action on a mass scale is necessary, argued Rise for Climate organizers.
"There is no time to lose," they declared. "So far in 2018 we have witnessed a range of severe impacts related to climate change including: extreme heat waves across North Africa, Europe, and Japan where a national emergency was declared; devastating wildfires in Greece that cost 85 lives, as well as in Sweden and the USA; and massive Antarctic ice-melt that contributes to global sea level rise threatening our coastal cities and the very existence of many island nations."
"We are at a crossroads," the organizers concluded. "By acting together, we can end the era of fossil fuels and save the climate we all depend on."
In just one week, people in 78 countries at 531+ actions will rise up to demand our local leaders commit to a Fossil Free future. That means no more fossil fuels and 100% renewable energy for all. The time is now. #RiseforClimate on Sept 8! Find out more: https://t.co/UXeMMvV589 pic.twitter.com/FdzCMnjJn8
— 350 dot org (@350) September 1, 2018