October 10th was going to be a global day of doing and acting on climate change – and that’s exactly what it was. The event broke records, turning into the biggest day of climate action in history.
From beaches in South Africa where penguins were rescued, to parks in Moscow, where 3,000 kg of acorns were collected to replant trees in forests devastated by fires this summer, thousands of people got to work yesterday to stop climate change.
In Argentina, Greenpeace activists took advantage of the day to denounce a proposed coal-fired power plant, and ask for wind turbines instead. Clean energy solutions exist – and renewable energy combined with energy savings have proved to be the viable alternative that the world needs.
This is why in Turkey, demonstrators covered in oil called for an Energy [R]evolution. Fossil fuel disasters like the oil spill that hit the Gulf of Mexico this summer, or coal ash disasters, are not the price we have to pay to supply our energy needs.
Deforestation, a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions, wasn’t forgotten either – and some truly inspiring actions to protect our forests took place. In Moscow, Russia, volunteers collected 3,000 kg of acorns to help replant the forests that have been devastated by forest fires during this summer of extreme weather.
In Denmark, volunteers raised awareness in the streets about the devastating effects of deforestation. They also handed out young tree plants to encourage local citizens to start planting.
Transport, also a major cause of greenhouse gas emission, was addressed in Sweden where activists dressed as the wind, sun and water thanked passengers in the subway for choosing this mode of transportation.
Some world leaders even got to work – like Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives installing solar panels on the presidential house. Barack Obama also committed to installing solar panels on the White House later this year. However, as nice as solar panels on a house are – we expect more from our leaders. We expect that, as thousands did the most they could yesterday, they get to work at the level they can and set the world on a path to clean energy and a safe planet to live on.
If politicians truly want to stop climate change, they should be getting to work like everyone did on October 10th – to make the right policy changes that will move the world away from dirty, deadly fossil fuels and towards an Energy [R]evolution.