Thousands of people around New Zealand will be rallying for solutions to climate change on September 24th, as part of the global day of action, Moving Planet. Come on your bike, skateboard or on foot to embrace a future beyond fossil fuels writes Aaron Packard, 350.org Oceania Region Coordinator.
A couple of weeks ago, during the Pacific Island Leaders Forum, I was invited by Oxfam to a small meeting of Pacific-focused NGOs with the European Union Climate Ambassador, Connie Hedegaard. After some quick introductions, she cut straight to the chase - "I am extremely concerned about Durban [the next Conference of Parties in December], that really big emitters seem to have agreed on one thing only - and that is not to make progress".
In other words, the global negotiations are as stuck as they have ever been, and global greenhouse gas emissions continue to surge upward from every direction. As a planet we're failing to tackle the biggest threat facing us; climate change. I walked away from the meeting depressed as ever and I felt small.
But is there a happy ending to this story? As things stand, I'm not convinced there is. But that can change - hope can build, emissions can be reduced, renewable energy solutions exist. Now more than ever, it's clear that the hope we need cannot be created in the meeting halls of the United Nations or of any Government building - it has to be built from the hearts, minds and hands of people. That's why, this Saturday 24th September, 350.org is partnering with dozens of organisations around the world, including Greenpeace, for a global day of action, Moving Planet. We're not literally moving to a new planet (although the event in Wellington is attempting that with a space rocket launch - see the 90 second video here), but we are rallying to move the planet beyond fossil fuels.
We're doing that with people power - on bikes, skateboards or on feet, people will be rallying in the thousands at hundreds of events in more than 150 countries - all carrying demands to leaders to implement solutions for a clean energy future. Here in New Zealand, there are more than 35 events spanning every region of the country. And to make sure that New Zealand is really playing its part in getting the planet moving beyond fossil fuels, we've launched a petition aimed at central and local government. You can sign the petition here.
It's a desperate effort to unstick the planet from the political impasse and the globalised addiction to fossil fuels - to have any hope of success it has to be done in unison and in every corner of the planet. That's why on Saturday, September 24th there is nothing more important you could be doing than joining your voice with those around you and making your demands for action visible to leaders. We are just providing the meeting place and time, but we need you to show up, and show up in big numbers. Only then do we have a hope of moving this stuck planet to a clean energy future. Now wouldn't that be awesome.
You can find an action near you at moving-planet.org or even start your own if there isn't one near you.