More than 15,000 protesters gathered in London on Saturday for a climate change march, which is to end with a rally outside Parliament. Activist Russell Brand is scheduled to deliver speeches near Westminster. The event is one of around 2,500 around the world calling for tougher action on climate change.
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: "Climate change is here, visible, and we know it's time to act. "It's time to stand up against those determined to burn the last drops of oil and gas and be confident in our power to build a better future. In coming together we help build the climate movement and inspire others to join us."
She added: "Young people, parents, grandparents, those new to the movement and veteran campaigners, we can all play our part, demanding our government legislate for the common good and not short-term vested interests. We're raising our voices for a year of climate action the UK and the world has never seen before."
Protesters at the London People’s Climate March in Westminster
Last September Emma Thompson and her daughter joined thousands of people at the 2014 People's Climate March in London.
Vivienne Westwood addressed the protesters by video link, warning "the clock is ticking." The fashion designer said: "As you march my models will be walking down the catwalk. It's very important you are there. I believe this demo is super important for the whole world. At the moment we in the UK need to do two things to handle everything for the best, we need to demonstrate, we need to vote in the elections."
She continued: "The main parties just want power, they believe everything should be owned by a few people that don't want change. We want MPs who don't agree with the old system. The press and the TV do not reflect public opinion, the internet does. You're not alone, people know what's going on. We must keep up the fight against climate change, the clock is ticking."
She was joined by Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union. He said: "We are delighted to see a growing alliance between workers and climate activists demanding a just solution to climate change. It is sick that millions around the world suffer without energy."
More than 5,000 gather for Saturday's march through London
He added: "It is sick the energy companies push the prices through the roof... multinationals care not a damn for you or their families but about their profits, that's what this system is built on. For us the answer is in democracy and that means challenging those who are in power. I ask, do you trust the banks to deal with climate change? Do you trust the multinationals to deal with with climate change? No. That's why we say it's time to put our democracy where it belongs, with ordinary people across the world."
John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK, added: "We can have clean energy, we can have clean jobs, we can have clean power if everyone on this planet is to stick together. This year is going to be the most important year, this is going to be the start of the biggest mobilisation we have seen on this issue of climate change and poverty."
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) March 6, 2015
On Friday, US Vice President Joe Biden mocked members of Congress that denied climate change, saying it's "like denying gravity."
Speaking to VICE founder Shane Smith in an interview for HBO, Biden said: "It gets to the point where you can't look anyone in the eye seriously and say, well, it's nothing having to do with manmade." On members of Congress who deny climate change, Biden said, "It's almost like denying gravity now... the willing suspension of disbelief can only be sustained for so long."