More than 400,000 reportedly showed up for a rally in New York City aimed at showing the world that the United States not only cares about climate change, but will take the lead on proposals to curb carbon — a “People’s Climate March” that comes just days before an important U.N. climate conference.
Reports from the scene characterized the march as the largest climate change rally ever — much bigger even than the “Forward on Climate” event that was held in Washington, D.C., in 2013, The Huffington Post reported.
On hand to fire up the crowd were notable and celebrity climate change activists like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Goodall, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Al Gore.
The White House has already vowed to “show the world that the U.S. is leading on climate change, and to call on other leaders to step up to the plate,” said John Podesta, a counselor to President Obama and a key player in the administration’s push for climate change policy, The Huffington Post reported.
The march — which spanned four miles in length — was aimed at kicking off the push, timed to coincide with Tuesday’s U.N. climate and carbon discussion in New York.
“Today I march because I want to behold a brighter future. We have destroyed ourselves. We have destroyed our health, and I’m here because our political leaders have failed us,” Stanley Sturgill, a retired coal miner from Kentucky who’s now fighting black lung, said during a press conference before the march, The Huffington Post reported. “We know together we can build our bright future.”