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We marched, they listened

The sun shone down on us as we strode through the city streets and lifted our voices together.

A chorus of over 40,000 people of all ages, races and faiths marched through central London on Sunday 21 September to demand our leaders take strong action on climate change.

As we walked, we knew that our footsteps were falling in time with tens of thousands more campaigners across the globe.

From New York to Delhi, Stockholm to Rio, more people than ever before took to the streets calling for climate action.

Campaigners taking part in the climate march in London

Silent reflection

As David Cameron met his global counterparts at the UN leaders’ summit in New York – the largest gathering of its type since 2009 - to discuss their commitments to protect our Earth, we let them know we were watching them. 

I was particularly moved by a moment of silent reflection at the end of the rally. Despite the vast size of the crowd, you could hear a pin drop and just make out the distant shouts and singing from the back of the march.

The jubilant atmosphere became sober as we turned our thoughts to the real threat of climate change. In the silence, I remembered those for whom I was marching: those without a voice.

On a sunny day in affluent Westminster, I remembered the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people whose homes and livelihoods are under threat from climate change.

We spoke, and David Cameron listened.

In his speech to the 120 world leaders, as a result of pressure from campaigners, Cameron made a clear link between the fight against global poverty and the need to tackle climate change.

He also said he wanted to see an end to ‘perverse fossil fuel subsidies’. We wholeheartedly agree!

Now we need to ensure he turns these words into action here in the UK.

My colleague, Mohamed Adow, is at the summit in New York. He told me: ‘There is a long way to go yet.

'While China’s pledge to take firm action on climate change and President Obama’s strong words were encouraging, the summit lacked concrete commitments and other world events all but drowned out coverage of it in the media.’

Whether you walked, prayed, thought or tweeted on Sunday, I’d like to say a huge thank you. I look forward to us standing together again for climate action next month.



About the author

Clare Groves

Clare Fussell is a campaigns officer for Christian Aid

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