GDA history

The Global Climate Campaign
is the collective name given to all the organisations, groups and individuals around the world who come together for the Global Day of Action on climate.

 

The Global Day of Action
on climate has occurred every year since 2005 at the time of the annual United Nations Talks on climate change ( the COP or "Conference of Parties" to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC). People from all around the world have come together on the same day to demand urgent action on climate, and climate justice, from the governments of the world meeting at the annual climate talks. Obviously it's not possible for thousands of people from all around the world to come together literally in the same place so the Global Day of Action has consisted of demonstrations and events all around the world on the same day - or as near as possible to that as circumstances allow. Usually that day has been the Saturday midway through the climate talks.

 

History of the Global Day of Action

Global Day of Action 2005

The first attempt to organise international demonstrations on climate was actually in February 2005 at the time of the coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol (February16th). This saw a smattering of events around the world mainly on 12th February (the Saturday before the 16th which was a Wednesday) including a demonstration of a thousand plus in London and events in Brussells, Kyoto in Japan and Athens.

The first Global Day of Action on climate was on December 3rd 2005 during the Montreal Climate Talks. There were tens of thousands of demonstrators in Montreal itself, ten thousand in London, maybe up to ten thousand all around Australia (3,000 in Sydney), four thousand in Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir, Anchara), hundreds in Finland, South Korea, Bangladesh and Mexico and demonstrations or events in 20+ countries.overall.

You can see the pages for the Global Day of Action 2005 here

 

Global Day of Action 2006

The second Global Day of Action on climate was held on 4th November 2006. This was actually the Saturday of the weekend just before the Nairobi climate talks.  In actual fact the demonstration in Nairobi itself occurred on the 11th November, the Saturday midway through the talks and  the same was true in a few other places like Dhaka in Bangaldesh.

The outstanding event of the 2006 GDA was the "Walks against Warming" around Australia in which almost 100,000 took part with around 40,000 in Sydney and Melbourne. Meanwhile around 30,000 demonstrated in London, and thousands also  around 20+ locations in France,  in Bolivia, Finland, Turkey and in Nairobi, itself, in Kenya. Hundreds more were active all around the US, in Taiwan, Belgium, Bangaladesh, Canada, New Zealan, Panama and other places with events and demonstrations in 30+ countries overall.

 

Global Day of Action 2007

In 2007 demonstrations were held throughout the world to coincide with the UN Climate Talks held from 3rd - 14th December 2007 in Bali, Indonesia. The Global Day of Action was on the Saturday midway through, December 8th 2007. There was huge increase in the number of events and demonstrations occuring around the world with  70+ countries taking part..

Actions were held on every continent, showing a global will for action on climate change. Some nations emerged for the first time as centres of climate activism. In Nepal, 3,000 demonstrated, while 2,000 attended the first big climate rally in the Arab World in Beirut. In Africa, there were events in 11 coutries including 500 Senegalese who attended a rally near Dakar. Over 1,000 mobilized in New Delhi while hundreds more participated in smaller events across India.

Established nations mobilized in force once again, with over 7,000 in London, 10,000 in Germany, 10,000 in Taiwan and 4,000 in Belgium. 3,000 attended a demonstration in Toronto and 600 in Vancouver while there were 30 actions throughout Canada.  5,000 people marched in Athens in response to this year's catastrophic forest fires.

 

Global Day of Action 2008

The fourth Global Day of Action on climate took place on 6th December 2008, on the Saturday midway through the UN  Climate Talks, held this year in Poznan, Poland. More than 60 countries were involved across 6 continents.

Despite the fact that many were saving their big effort for the following years Climate Talks in Copenhagen in 2009 - perceived as the really important make-or break  meeting of the UNFCCC -  thousands came out onto the streets on 6th December 2008: 8,000 or so in the UK, 3,000 in India, 2,500 or so across Bangladesh despite a ban on rallies, 5,000 in nearly every province of Bolivia, and thousands across Australia, the USA, Canada, Taiwan and Belgium.

In Poznan, itself, Poland saw its biggest climate demonstration so far with 1500 people involved - a badly needed boost to the climate campaign in that country. In Africa several new countries became involved like Malawi, Ghana, the Gambia and Zimbabwe - while hundreds demonstrated in countries which are now 'regulars' for the Global Day of Action like Senegal and Kenya.

There was the usual variety of events with a bike ride in Jordan, a colourful parade in New Caledonia in the Pacific and a festival in New Zealand. In Denmark hundreds came out to protest but there, already, people were making preparations for a really massive event to mark next years critical talks, in Copenhagen in December 2009.


Global Day of Action 2009

The fifth Global Day of Action on climate took place on 12th December 2009 .It was a huge success demonstrating the rapid mushrooming of a massive global movement in reponse to the unparalleled threat we face from the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate and the seeming inability of the world's leaders to do anything effective about it.

There was a  magnificent demonstration of 100,000 or so people from all around the world in Copenhagen, itself, at the actual location of the UN Climate Talks.

This included substantial numbers from nearby countries of North West Europe in many of which the 'national' demonstration had been timed for 5th December, a week earler, so as to allow people to concentrate purely on building the big Copenhagen demo on the 12th. This earlier wave of demonstrations had included a spectacular 50,000 strong march in London, a 15,000 strong demonstration in Brussels, an 8,000 strong protest in Glasgow, Scotland, a 2,000 strong noisy protest in Paris and further events in Dublin, Ireland, Belfast, Northen Ireland, Berlin and other places around Germany and Stockholm and other places around Sweden.

On the 12th itself the 100,000 in Copenhagen were matched by another 100,000 all around Australia (with 40,000 in Melbourne alone) and other substantial events like the 'Beat the Heat' rally in the Netherlands with 10,000, demonstrations in Madrid and New Delhi 5,000 or so strong (with further demonstrations in around 20 other locations around India) and thousands more in places like Nepal, Bangladesh and South Africa.

Meanwhile with the active involvement this year of a new international coalition of NGOs - the 'Global Campaign for Climate Action', and the newly formed "350" organisation there was a vast number of smaller actions ( maybe 3,000 ?) in just about every country of the world. These mainly took the form of "Vigils for a Real Deal" under the Tck Tck Tck brand  or candlelight vigils under the '350'banner  - but there were also plenty of other actions (or ones that mixed various elements of the internationally coordinated campaigns).
 

Global Day of Action 2010

The sixth Global Day of Action took place on 4th December 2010 with actions and events all around the world in at least 50 countries.
 
Tens of thousands were mobilising in Mexico on the 4th in caravans that reached Cancun, the location of the 2010 climate talks, for big marches on the 5th and the 7th December, with Via Campesina playing a major organising role.
 
Around the rest of the world after the phenomenal effort put in for the critical Copenhagen Talks in 2009 there was a relative decline in activity overall. Nevertheless in Europe thousands had already attended a “Sing for the Climate” event in Brussels on the 28th November, while events on the day included thousands marching for a ‘Zero Carbon Britain’ in London, 1500 attending a Climate Justice event in the village of “Cancon” in France, hundreds on a march proclaiming “There is no Planet B” in Copenhagen, a ‘climate refugee camp’ in Oslo, photo-petitions in Prague, Czech Republic and in Kiev, the Ukraine,  a “fair deal” demonstration by artists in Sofia, Bulgaria, a ‘sleep in’ mocking the inaction of leaders in Istanbul, a Mexican stand-off flash mob in Belfast, Northern Ireland, a climate conference in Nis, Serbia, demonstrations linking climate and water in Italy, an appeal to the goddess Themis for ‘climate justice’ in Cyprus and other events. In Malta an event was refused permission but activists generated news coverage out of that !
 
In Africa hundreds marched in Johannesburg, youth groups and school children marched in Ghana, demonstrations were organised in several places around Togo, climate conferences were organised in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, a school awareness program climaxed in Nigeria and more events took place in Kenya and other places.
 
In Asia a climate rally attended by 10 environmental groups was held in Dhaka. In India events included a ‘Dying Mother Earth’ event organised by a coalition of NGOs in New Delhi and a demonstration in Trichy, Tamil Nadu. In Nepal there were flash mobs with ‘energetic modern dancing’ organised by a coalition in Katmandhu and hundreds took part in a rally in Lalitpur district. Other events included a high-fiving polar bear in Japan and a student mobilisation in a university in Singapore.

In Australia on the 4th Climate Camp activists were chaining themselves to coal carrying conveyor belts while the bold direct action at the centre of the country’s coal power industry climaxed in a Day of Action, the following day. The Pacific was not left out with a climate exhibition in New Caledonia. In Canada there was a Peoples Assembly for Climate Justice in Toronto while local actions took place in New Jersey and Florida in the US. In South America events included a mass and celebration for the planet in Venezuela..