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Star-studded lineup to join "March to End Fossil Fuels" this week

New York City is set to witness what’s anticipated to be the largest climate march in the U.S in the past five years, the “March to End Fossil Fuels,” with U.S Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and UNICEF Goodwill ambassador Vanessa Nakate at the forefront. The significant climate rally will take place on Sunday, mere days ahead of the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit.

The March to End Fossil Fuels demonstration serves to amplify calls directed at the Biden Administration to usher in major policy shifts concerning fossil fuels.

Key demands from the organizers include:

  • Halting approval for new oil and gas ventures.
  • Terminating fossil fuel drilling on public lands.
  • Officially declaring a climate emergency, which would inherently curtail fossil fuel exports and foreign investments.
  • Propelling the nation toward a renewable energy future, ensuring a just transition for all.

Impressive roster of participants

Organized predominantly by youth-centric groups, prominent among them being Greta Thunberg’s “Fridays for Future” movement, the rally’s objectives have secured endorsement from an impressive roster of over 500 organizations. Noteworthy among these supporters are the Sierra Club and the Sunrise Movement.

Moreover, the March to End Fossil Fuels has drawn endorsements from the Hollywood elite, including notable figures such as Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Strong, Jane Fonda, and Edward Norton. Their support amplifies the voice of the movement and adds to the urgency of the issue.

Many young people feel betrayed

17-year-old Bree Campbell, a representative of the New York City chapter of the Fridays for Future group, emphasized the motivation behind the march. Campbell expressed the feelings of betrayal many youths are experiencing, given that they heavily supported President Biden during his electoral campaign.

She said, “We are marching to make it clear to President Biden that he is betraying the very youth who helped get him into office in the first place. We are marching to make him see us – and to make him act on his promises.”

March to End Fossil Fuels is an intergenerational effort

While youth play a central role, the march is an intergenerational effort. Veteran climate campaigner Bill McKibben, co-founder of Third Act, a climate advocacy group for older activists, emphasized the involvement of seasoned campaigners.

Drawing attention to the long history of activism, he mentioned some participants have been active since the inaugural Earth Day in 1970. McKibben poignantly remarked, “It’s true that some of us will be dead before the climate damage reaches its peak – but we can imagine that future and so we want to help head it off while we can.”

This massive New York climate demonstration is but a fraction of a global movement. The past week has seen over 650 climate actions unfurl across the world, with protests witnessed in diverse nations like Pakistan, Austria, Ethiopia, and Bolivia.

The coming days, with the UN Climate Ambition Summit, will reveal the impact and potency of these global actions in shaping policy and catalyzing change.

More about the UN Climate Ambition Summit

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has yet again underscored the acute necessity for immediate climate action in its latest scientific assessment. The message is clear: the clock is ticking as the adverse effects of the climate crisis continue to surge, and greenhouse gas emissions persistently reach new peaks.

It is essential to drastically cut emissions, starting immediately and spanning over the next thirty years, to confine global warming within the 1.5°C threshold above pre-industrial levels. Surpassing this limit is likely to intensify catastrophic environmental impacts.

Climate change impact disparity

However, there is an evident disparity in how the repercussions of the crisis are distributed. Vulnerable populations, often least culpable for the escalating climate issues, are already grappling with the detrimental impacts. These communities require instantaneous aid to adapt and recuperate from the mounting environmental losses.

This poses not just an environmental challenge but also a profound moral quandary concerning equity and climate justice. The call is clear for governments and international financial institutions to address this imbalance promptly.

In light of these challenges, the United Nations Secretary-General is convening the Climate Ambition Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York on September 20, 2023. This Summit is envisioned as a pivotal political juncture to manifest the global collective resolve in accelerating the transition towards an equitable, renewable-energy driven, and climate-resilient global economy.

The Summit’s objectives are organized around three pivotal acceleration tracks:


Governments, especially major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, are anticipated to present updated pre-2030 Nationally Determined Contributions, as discussed in Glasgow. Additional elements include updated targets for achieving net-zero emissions, energy transition plans with emphasis on discontinuation of new coal, oil, and gas ventures, and more aggressive targets for renewable energy adoption.


Business, city, region, and financial institution leaders are anticipated to roll out transition blueprints that conform to the UN-endorsed credibility standards highlighted in the “Integrity Matters” report. This exclusive standard, attuned to the 1.5°C global warming limit, advocates for specific targets for 2025 and 2030, encompassing all scope 3 emissions, detailed strategies for discontinuing fossil fuel use, actual emission reductions without the dependence on offsets, and a commitment to champion science-driven climate action.


Key representatives from government bodies, international institutions, the private sector, and civil society are set to introduce either established or emerging partnerships. These partnerships will address the challenges and prospects associated with decelerating carbon emissions in major sectors like energy, shipping, aviation, steel, and cement. They will also delve into initiatives aiming to deliver climate justice, ranging from reforming international financial systems to establishing early warning frameworks and addressing loss and damage.

The Climate Ambition Summit, therefore, stands at the forefront of the battle against the climate crisis. By uniting the world’s major players across various sectors, the Summit strives to drive home the message that immediate, collective, and impactful action is not only necessary but also possible. The world watches keenly, hoping this assembly will chart a clear path for a sustainable and equitable future.

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