Global Climate Change Protests
Around the world, citizens are coming together to protest the Earth’s climate change. In fact, there have been thousands of demonstrations this past weekend throughout the world. According to the BBC, In New York’s Manhattan borough alone, it was said that there were roughly 310,000 (BBC, 2014) to 311,000 (New York Times, 2014) people marching on the streets to protest current environmental conditions. There will be a meeting of top world officials in New York to discuss climate issues at the United Nations climate summit, and many have come out ahead of this conference. There were also many political and celebrity figures protesting, individuals such former United State Vice President Al Gore (New York Times, 2014) and Leonardo DiCaprio (BBC, 2014). In addition, ” It drew the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, who will preside over this week’s United Nations climate summit meeting. And it included Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, fresh off his announcement that he was committing the city to an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.”
These protests are important, as it spotlights a growing problem that is climate change. There are numerous scientific studies that have tracked the effects of climate change, and it seems that many of the world’s environmental issues are not dissipating. Thus, it is important for norms to be shaped, to say that the global community will not tolerate abuses against the environment by corporations, countries, etc…
It is crucial that the United Nations continued to advance international law and agreements regarding the protection of the environment. But this is not enough. Trade organization such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization must clearly offer environmental protections with regards to their international economic polices. There are issues with free trade, particularly when it is at the expense of ensuring that states are fully living up to the utmost environmental standards. Therefore, as individuals continue to ensure that the environment is at the forefront of international relations issues, there is a hope that the world will develop a position that ensures that no environmental abuses by states, multinational organizations, etc… go unnoticed, and that they will be held accountable through economic trade, or through international political institutions. The global climate change protests have shown the world that people take environmental protections seriously, and that it is important for state and MNC actors to ensure that their actions are in line with the safety and security of the environment.