Among the hundreds of thousands of marchers at the Peoples Climate March on Sunday was President Baron Waqa, Chair of AOSIS, many of his AOSIS colleagues, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Former Vice President Al Gore, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio, and countless business leaders and celebrities.

The march comes days before many of the world’s leaders will debate emergency action at the United Nations climate summit.

Today 120 of them descend on New York ahead of the High Level segment of the 69th UNGA and a World Leaders Summit where announcements of bold action to tackle the climate crisis are expected.

The march began around 11:30 at Columbus Circle and stretched more than 4 miles as participants carried banners, signs and noisemaking instruments.

Some 2,800 parallel marches, rallies and events took place around the world. As well as the major marches, affected communities in Papua New Guinea and schoolchildren in Tanzania, stepped forward to call for urgent action. A major climate rally in Manila had to be called off as the increasingly flood-prone region was hit by a massive storm that forced the evacuation of 200,000 people from the area — a stark reminder of why people around the world have taken to the streets.

This mobilisation shows the growing global push to transform its economy away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. The focus will now shift to the Summit, a key moment to build momentum toward the level of action needed to protect vulnerable island nations

At least 122 heads of government will attend the summit. These include the US president Barack Obama as well as leaders from Japan, UK, Mexico, and South Africa. A further four deputy prime ministers and environment ministers from 36 countries will also send delegations, raising the number of participating countries to 162.