Voices in Durban

After the first week of COP 17, negotiations are continuing to stall. There is a growing sense of frustration within the environmental community and a feeling that COP 17 is not going make any concrete steps to halting climate change. With numerous countries, including the US, not wanting to adopt emission targets until after 2020, it looks as if an international climate treaty is still years away, perhaps even too late to prevent a permanent increase in global temperature.

Facing this potential gloomy outlook, thousands of individuals and NGO representatives from around the world, gathered together to march under the banner of A Global Day of Action, through the streets of Durban in protest.

Starting at a local University, the procession marched for almost five hours, passing by the conference center and finishing at the sea. People of every age, from every continent, marched in unison calling for a green economy, protection from the affects of climate change, renewable energy, and an end to fuel subsidies. Outside the conference, speakers grabbed microphones calling upon UN representatives to protect our planet and embrace a sustainable future.

Much of the messaging was directed at wealthy countries, such as the US, for forestalling the climate negotiations and continuing to emit more carbon than the rest of the world. In a manner similar to Occupy Wall Street, many signs stated that 99% of the world's population is going to suffer at the hands of the global elite's pollution.

Soon thereafter, as people streamed by the International Conference Center, where current negotiations are taking place, many people stopped and directed their voices at the headquarters of the conference, imploring negotiators to heed the dire warning of climate change and act now, before it's too late.

We hope the UN representatives were listening.