Anya Gruber '16 News Editor
Last weekend, hundreds of thousands of people came to the People’s Climate March in New York City to demonstrate their dedication to implementing climate change. The rally was specifically aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuels, and occurred shortly before a United Nations discussion focused on environmental policies.
People marched across an area spanning four miles, reported the Washington Times. Such personalities as Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore, well-known for their outspokenness when it comes to climate issues, were present at the march. Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. Secretary General, also marched.
New York City’s march was one of many rallies to take place across the world, including in India, Australia and Central America, creating solidarity between supporters of policy change in cities everywhere. About a total of 2,500 events pertaining to climate change took place around the globe in the past weeks, according to the AFP.
Support for the climate march manifested itself throughout social media in the form of the hashtag #PeoplesClimate, which drew more attention to the event itself.
Many Smith students attended the march to show their dedication to the cause. Sri Wahyunay ’17 said, “I care deeply about climate change and I thought it would be an amazing experience to be surrounded by people who care about it and want to make the difference.”
The march coincides with Smith’s recent announcement of its allocation of $1 million to a sustainable fund following the passing of the divestment referendum last year.
“It was amazing and hectic and empowering,” Wahyunay said of the march, which, according to the organizers, turned out to be the largest climate march ever.
The U.N. climate summit happened on Sept. 23, and mainly focused on reducing carbon emissions in cities in the United States and abroad. The report released strategies to improve waste management, transport systems and other factors that use a substantial amount of energy, to cut back on the emissions.
The vestiges of the march continued for several days, forming into an occupation of Wall Street that led to the arrests of several people, though the Climate March itself left attendees hopeful.
“I think the general social consciousness on climate change will be even greater and powerful and we can make a change,” Wahyunay said. “Just not overnight.”