New York City Climate Convergence

Climate change and capitalism

The catastrophic social changes threatened by global climate change looms over humanity’s future. In Sept. 2014, international climate talks were again scheduled, this time in New York City under the auspices of the U.N. As demonstrated before and since, in cities like Kyoto, Copenhagen, Durban, Doha and Lima, these talks proposed solutions that were slow and toothless at best, and do-nothing avenues for free market stop-gap proposals at worst.

In this episode of Labor Beat, two activists from the System Change Not Climate Change (SCNCC) coalition describe the changing face of environmental activism since rising CO2 emissions have created a sense of urgency among millions who want a better future. The Climate Convergence of Sept. 2014 voted on an explicit demand of “People, Planet, and Peace Over Profit.” This tendency to name capitalism itself as a primary cause and obstacle to subduing climate change was thrust center stage and warmly received by the hundreds of thousands who marched in NYC.

As they gathered for SCNCC’s first national convention in January 2015, activists Roger Annis and Gary Stuard shared their views with Labor Beat. We present them here, alongside the photos of Carole Ramsden, an activist who marched in NYC and captured the movement’s new vibrancy and focus.

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On Sept 19, 2023 ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit in New York City, climate activists gathered for a rally and civil disobedience outside Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan as part of the March to End Fossil Fuels wave of actions resulting in multiple arrests. Activists demand Bank of America to “Defund Climate Chaos and Defend Human Rights” Photo: Erik McGregor (CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

Let’s Save Each Other

Let’s Save Each Other

Illustration by Stephanie McMillan. Used with permission