History

What is the Peoples Climate Movement, and where did it come from?

On Sept. 21, 2014 the Peoples Climate Movement organized the historic Peoples Climate March on the eve of the UN Climate Summit. As heads of state from around the world gathered, 400,000 people from every walk of life marched through the streets of New York City demanding bold and urgent action of the global climate crisis.

Want to learn more about the 2014 march? Check out the 2014 website →

The months of organizing and the day itself helped to re-boot the climate movement in this country. We made visible the depth and breadth of concern about the climate crisis and the role the U.S. must play in meeting that crisis. We gave life to our understanding that our fight is a struggle for justice: securing climate justice means a commitment to the fights for economic and racial justice.

That march laid the foundation for the growth of the Peoples Climate Movement. The work of the PCM is grounded in a set of core principles:

  • Prioritize leadership of front-line communities, communities of color, low-income communities, workers and others impacted by climate, economic and racial inequity.
  • Use the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing to ground our work.
  • Build a coordinated but decentralized structure that lifts up a common platform and message while being flexible enough to create more opportunities for connection to local issues, ownership and engagement in the movement.
  • Work in a way that helps to strengthen and build the capacity of the local organizing.
  • Develop opportunities for a range of organizations and social movements to work together, and to us our joint efforts to give greater visibility to our common struggle. This includes, but is not limited to, putting people into the streets as we demand policy changes and bold action.

In 2015 the Peoples Climate Movement focused its collective energy on strengthening the climate justice movement at the local level. That October we organized 200 actions in 48 locations mostly led by front-line communities, unions, faith groups, youth, and people of color organizations. These actions highlighted the on-the-ground realities in their cities, and tied those struggles to the national movement.

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Photos from the 2015 Peoples Climate Marches.

In 2016 the Peoples Climate Movement’s work shifted again as we began to focus on the fall elections. Our first step was the development of our Platform – a document that articulates our understanding of the climate crisis and what it will take to build a movement strong enough to meet the challenges ahead.

Peoples Climate Platform
  • Directly and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas and toxic pollution to successfully combat climate change and improve public health
  • Mandate a transition to an equitable and sustainable New Energy and Economic Future that limits the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels
  • Provide a Just Transition for communities and workers negatively impacted by the shift to a New Energy and Economic Future that includes targeted economic opportunity and provides stable income, health care, and education
  • Demand that every job pays a wage of at least $15 an hour, protects workers, and provides a good standard of living, pathways out of poverty, and a right to organize
  • Ensure that in the New Energy and Economic Future, investments are targeted to create pathways for low-income people and people of color to access good jobs and improve the lives of communities of color, indigenous peoples, low-income people, small farmers, women, and workers.
  • Make bold investments in the resilience of states, cities, tribes, and communities that are threatened by climate change; including massive investments in infrastructure systems from water, transportation, and solid waste to the electrical grid and safe, green building and increasing energy efficiency that will also create millions of jobs in the public and private sector
  • Reinvest in a domestic industrial base that drives towards an equitable and sustainable New Energy and Economic Future, and fight back against the corporate trade-induced global race to the bottom
  • Market and policy based mechanisms must protect human rights and critical, native ecosystems and reduce pollution at source

In the context of the Trump Administration’s climate change denying and a Congress controlled by the right-wing it is clear we all must both protect the gains made in recent years, even if those have been limited gains, while we articulate and demand initiatives to move our nation to a new, clean energy economy.

This is a moment to bring the range of progressive social change movements together. Pushing back against the Trump agenda and at the same time pushing forward on our vision of a clean, safe world where the rights of all people are protected and expanded means we all must work together.

Join us on and march on April 29th as we resist, build, and rise in the face of the threats to our communities.

 

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