Climate Walks

  

On September 2014, in New York City, organisers said some 310,000 people joined a march that was also attended by UN chief Ban Ki-moon. An estimated 600,000 people in all took part that day in more than 2,000 locations world-wide. link  Agence France-Presse reported some 15,000 people turned out in Lima in 2014 to walk for the environment during the COP-20 talks. link  Read below for other walks which lasted for many months as people around the world take steps towards grow awareness of climate threats.

Latest news on climate pilgrimages to Poland: August 28 2018: Details are now coming in on two pilgrimages which will make their way to Katowice, Poland. The first begins in Bonn on September 3, and the second from the Vatican in Rome on October 4. More information below.

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         Below: 

  • 2018 Climate walks to Katowice, Poland
  • 2015 People’s Climate Pilgrimage: Rome to  Paris
  • 2014 Climate Walk to Tacloban, 2014
  • Other walks
  • Yeb Saño and Fast for the Climate
2018 climate walks to Katowice, Poland

From Rome to Katowice. With the COP-24 talks beginning December 2018 in Poland, walkers will begin a climate pilgrimage from the Vatican in Rome on October 4, on a 63-day journey to Katowice. This will mark my third climate walk with Yeb Saño and other Filipinos. (AB)  Website

Yeb Saño writes: The Global Catholic Climate Movement is working with a wide range of organizations and faith communities in organizing The Climate Pilgrimage, which will take pilgrims through the countries of Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Czechia, and Poland. This journey is a communion of people who come from different walks of life, from diverse faiths, but especially people from communities severely affected by the adverse impacts of climate change who are standing up for climate justice. Through the Pilgrimage, people from communities hard-hit by the climate crisis are walking in faith to deliver a message to the climate negotiators: the time for justice is now.

Along the route, we will hold conversations in local communities and engage in moments of deep reflection about the challenges and opportunities of the climate crisis. We will collect stories of witness from these encounters and take them to the world leaders at the United Nations climate summit. A strong, united show of support from people of faith around the world sends an important signal to decision-makers in their home countries. The Climate Pilgrimage believes that climate change is a matter of justice. It is a matter of protecting the poor and the vulnerable among us. Walking is a non-violent action. By answering the violence of climate change with peaceful pilgrimage and prayer, we walk in the steps of global spirituality and answer the demand for radical yet peaceful action for the good in this world. Through the Climate Pilgrimage, we deeply believe we can be powerful witnesses of our respective faiths.

Bonn to Katowice Pilgrimage.  The 3rd ecumenical pilgrimage for climate justice will start from Bonn, which hosted the COP-23 in 2017, on September 9, and arrive in Katowice December 3. The pilgrimage will launch with a service to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the “World Council of Churches,” as well as the blessing of the pilgrims. The route leads through the big main coal regions of Germany from North Rhine Westphalia via “Mitteldeutsches Revier” to the brown-coal region of the “Lausitz” and then northwards to Berlin. On our way we will pass by “points of pain” where we experience the immediate and massive destruction caused by coal mining as well as “points of hope and healing” where people make a difference. There will be some “action days” along the route as we stay for one day in different towns offering awareness talks to locals and information workshops for the pilgrims. Berlin is the political action stop-over where we aim to get in touch with politicians challenging their awareness for our purpose and hand over our petition to them to bring it into the negotiations of COP- 24. In Berlin we also hand over the Pilgrim rod to our colleagues and friends of the “Polish Ecumenical Council”. They then lead us through their country down to Katowice. During the pilgrimage in Poland the focus is mainly on the aspects of climate justice and renewable energy. By our action, this long pilgrimage, we demonstrate our solidarity to all people who are already suffering from climate change. We believe and are convinced that climate justice is possible! link 

2015 People’s Pilgrimage

The People’s Pilgrimage left St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Rome on September 30 2015 and arrived in Assisi on October 4 for the Feast of St Francis where each year the feast commemorates the life of St Francis, who was born in the 12th century and is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment. The walkers reached northern Italy by November 5 after walking over 700 kilometers. After crossing the Alps, walkers continued via Geneva in Switzerland into southern France, later walking via Lyon, Taize and arriving in Paris after 59 days on November 28.  

The People’s Pilgrimage called for action on climate in 2015 ahead of the UN climate talks (COP21) in Paris. Every step counts and we called on world leaders to have the courage, imagination and generosity to work through difficulties and bring the world to a meaningful climate agreement which keeps global average temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.
The pilgrimage was set up by GreenFaith.org and other groups from around the world, and across faiths.  

The People’s Pilgrimage
These pilgrims are part of a worldwide movement of people of faith and goodwill, who are taking their own journeys, big and small, to visit the places at the heart of the climate crisis at risk or ​affected ​already,​ or showing the way forward – places of hope and resistance.​

These pilgrimages are a chance to reflect on our future. Our journeys, our stories are also the key to this crisis. Every step we take, every story we share, lifts up the human face of climate change. Bringing hope to those without it, or showing the reality to those that doubt it.

Every step counts.  A better future is possible. The technology for a clean world is here now, and the solutions to the climate crisis will unlock a prosperous, safer, more just world.

ThinkGlobalGreen blogs from the Pilgrimage – link

Philippine Walk for the Climate – 2014

On October 2, 2014, the International Day of Non-Violence, Yeb Saño joined a group of environmental advocates, setting out from Kilometer Zero in Luneta Park, Manila, embarking on a 40-day 1,000 kilometer journey to bring them to Super Typhoon Haiyan’s Ground Zero in Tacloban City by November 8, the first anniversary of typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm ever to make landfall, causing as many as 15,000 deaths.

Some media coverage at the end of the walk.

Climate envoy’s epic walk ends in ground zero. link
Marathon walk to storm city spotlights Philippine climate risks link
Climate Walkers Reach Typhoon’s ‘Ground Zero’ link

ThinkGlobalGreen blog on Philippine walk – link

 Other walks

Great American Walk:  The organizers of 2014’s Great March were looking to inspire many of their fellow citizens to join them on a cross-country trek – for the entire stretch or even for just a single day – to raise awareness about human-caused climate change and the urgency to do something about it. The walk, set to begin in Los Angeles on March 1 and finish up in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 1, is the brainchild of 55-year-old Ed Fallon, who served 14 years in the Iowa State House of Representatives and knows well the impact a single march can have on the public’s consciousness. “Marching in and of itself is not going to change anything. But the march represents the commitment that hundreds of people are willing to make to get the rest of the country thinking about, talking about the commitment we all need to make to move beyond this crisis.” – Ed Fallon.

There were 399 marchers from 37 states and 7 countries. Here is a small selection of their biographies – link

 Bike for a Future:
why ride a bicycle from
 Vietnam to Paris? For most of 2015 Simon Nelson and Nguyen Kim Ngan cycled through Asia and Europe to arrive in Paris before the COP-21 talks where they met up with walkers from the pilgrimage from Rome and walkers and cyclists from Europe. Read Simon and Nguyen’s  amazing story at Bike4afuture.com

A 291-day cycle to Paris for climate changestory

Yeb Saño and Fast for the Climate

The Fasting for the Climate movement started at the UN climate negotiations in Warsaw in November 2013. Typhoon Haiyan had just devastated the Philippines and that country’s climate commissioner, Yeb Saño, who’s own family was caught up in the disaster, said he would not eat until the Warsaw conference delivered actions by countries to “stop the madness” of the climate crisis. Hundreds of others from around the world chose to fast with him in solidarity. Despite this, the Warsaw meeting saw countries, like Japan, actually winding back their climate commitments, seemingly in denial that all countries will need to commit and contribute to the comprehensive, global climate action plan which is due in Paris in 2015. link

April 2015: Earth Day announcement. Former Philippines climate envoy announces he is stepping down from the Philippine Climate Commission to work on sustainable future with faith groups   “Why I’m leaving diplomacy to fight climate changeThe climate change challenge will make the world a better place. Simply because it is our only option.”
“The climate crisis is madness”  – Naderev Yeb Saño.

Read more about Yeb Saño here