Why we joined the People's Climate March at the UN Climate Talks in Peru

Susana Arroyo, Oxfam Communication and Media Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, sent us this update last night from the COP20 UN Climate negotiations in Lima, Peru.

Yesterday saw many thousands of people out on the streets of Lima. This was the biggest march in Peru in the last 20 years. And thousands were also on the streets in New York and around the world in September. This global movement is demanding alternatives to combat  climate change, is raising its voice – and being heard. The message is for world leaders is- it’s time to act. Time to act before more lives are lost to floods and droughts, before even more people go hungry, before it’s too late.

People's climate march, Lima, Peru, 10 December 2014. Photo: Oxfam

Why do we march?

We do it to protect the food we eat and the people who produce it, to protect the forests and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives trying to protect these things. We march to demand serious laws that reduce the impact of climate change on rural women and avoid millions of people going hungry.

We march because, ultimately, climate change is not just about the climate: it’s about life itself.  

People's climate march, Lima, Peru, 10 December 2014. Photo: Oxfam

We have also organized ourselves because we have power and we want to use it. This is the people power capable of combating injustice and changing the world, a power that emerges when we act together. When we march, when we join others in the fight against global warming, and when we, from our place in the world –wherever that may be– propose and demand policies to achieve development and growth that does not destroy the planet along with our rights we can achieve amazing things.

From a seed grows a forest

This is the slogan we marched under yesterday and it’s a perfect metaphor. If power were a plant, then yesterday’s march was a fine day for cultivation. Thousands of us marched, thousands of seeds were sown, and from these seeds will grow a leafy forest, one that’s diverse, rich and full of life. A forest that can never be cut down.

A forest that should be listened to: World leaders, we said it yesterday and we’ll continue to say it today, tomorrow and the days after that – it’s time to act.

Photo 1:  Percy Ramírez/Oxfam

Photo 2:  Christian Clement/Oxfam

Photo 3:  Percy Ramírez/Oxfam

What you can do now

Join Oxfam's campaign to help stop climate change making people hungry

Read the blog: UN Climate Conference in Lima: what's happening and why it really matters in 6 questions

Keep up to date with your Daily Download from inside the COP20 Climate Talks

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