September 8, 2014

Cornell Students Will Attend New York City Climate March

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A group of student organizations and community partners have collaborated to subsidize a bus to New York City to allow students to attend the People’s Climate March on Sept. 21.

The event is anticipated to be the largest climate march in history, according to the People’s Climate March website. Participants will march to demonstrate support of United Nations Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon’s anti-global warming petition.

“In September, world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis,” according to the event’s website. “UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.”

Maria Jiang ’16, manager of Cornell’s Green Revolving Fund — a fund that “capture[s] energy cost savings for reinvestment in campus sustainability projects,” according to its website — is helping organize buses from Cornell to New York City to transport students interested in participating in the rally.

“This is about students coming together from diverse backgrounds to show that we must all act together to manage the risks of climate change and to demand bold political action,” Jiang said.

Many students signed up for buses immediately after the event was announced, according to Cole Norgaarden ’17, co-president of KyotoNOW!, Cornell’s student-run climate justice and fossil fuel divestment organization.

A 55-person bus was filled in less than a week, and a second 39-person bus was secured in response to the enthusiasm. Ten seats remain on the second bus as of Monday, Norgaarden said.

According to Jiang, the Center for Transformative Action has also subsidized thousands of dollars in cost for students to travel to the event as a result of a joint fund between Sustainability Hub and KyotoNOW!

Jiang added that the event is made possible because of the Protestant Cooperative Ministry, who has “worked fervently to secure our two buses,” Jiang said.

According Norgaarden, KyotoNOW! has a history of helping Cornell students participate in various environmental movements across the country.

“We organized busloads of students and faculty to attend the ‘Forward On Climate’ March at the White House in 2013, which was in protest of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, as well as climate justice convergences in Pittsburgh and New York City,” Norgaarden said.

Norgaarden added that he believes it is important to transport students to the rally in order to demonstrate that youth believe in the importance of climate change reform.

“It is crucially important to engage and amplify youth voices on issues of climate change and justice because we are uniquely affected by its impacts,” he said.