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Where does the global community stand on climate change action?

Hundred of thousands of people marched Sunday in New York and in other cities around the world demanding that world leaders do more to halt climate change. For more, Katherine Bagley, a reporter with InsideClimate News, joins Hari Sreenivasan in New York.

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    As we just reported hundred of thousands of people marched today in New York and in other cities around the world demanding that world leaders do more to halt climate change. For more, we are joined by Katherine Bagley. She is a reporter with InsideClimate News.

    So before getting into today's march, where is the world when it comes to taking action on climate change?

  • KATHERINE BAGLEY:

    So, there's no global agreements on what to do about climate change, which is one of the things that they're going to be hashing out on Tuesday at the U.N.

    But a lot of individual countries have, want, decided to take action themselves. A lot of the action has been in Europe, a lot of European countries are really on top of this.

    A lot of the island nations, like the Maldives that are completely disappearing into the ocean are taking action, but there's a lot of big carbon dioxide polluters that aren't the U.S. for example there is no national initiative on climate change.

    China hasn't really done anything, Canada, Australia, Russia, also India, a lot of people are going to be paying attention to these big countries to see how committed they are on this, because they haven't really be in the past.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    So you were out there at the march, you've been covering this for a while, all the organizing that went back into it, what was the purpose of today's march?

  • KATHERINE BAGLEY:

    The purpose of today was just to show world leaders how many disparate interests actually want them to act on climate change.

    They didn't have a set list of demands, they just wanted to show leaders how many people want action, any action, on climate change.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    And who are all these different groups? I mean, you said that there were hundreds just organizing this particular event.

  • KATHERINE BAGLEY:

    So there were two main groups that organized it, AVAAZ and 350.org, but they've actually roped in over 1,500 different organizations.

    They started back in January and this march has just grown beyond their wildest expectations and you even saw within the last month that it went from 750 organizations to 1,500 organizations in just a couple of weeks.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    And it's just not environmental organizations that are participating?

  • KATHERINE BAGLEY:

    No, that's what makes the march so remarkable, is that for the first time in the climate fight, you're really seeing a visual demonstration of how many people from so many different organizations actually care about this.

    There's a lot of labor groups that are involved, high school groups are coming in, different universities, but you also have parents with young kids and faith-based groups and a lot of social and racial equality groups are coming in as well.

    And I think that the big thing has been the realization that climate change isn't just an environmental issue, it's an economic issue, it's a social equality issue, it's a labor issue, it's kind of everybody's issue.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Did you see any business groups involved or sponsoring or involved in this too?

  • KATHERINE BAGLEY:

    There are a few small businesses involved, none from the fossil fuel industry. But there are a few companies that got involved.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    How do they hope to change the conversation heading into that Paris discussion a year from now because even Ban Ki-moon, the head of the U.N. said we really didn't get enough accomplished at Copenhagen. What's the agenda there?

  • KATHERINE BAGLEY:

    So the agenda on Tuesday is they want to kind of lay the groundwork, like I said.

    So they're going to be talking about how to actually pass a treaty, what the hopes are for emission-reduction targets and the tricky thing is getting targets and getting agreements that all the different countries can actually agree on.

    You know you have countries, developing world countries, that didn't actually contribute to climate change and they're going to have to make the same agreements that developed world countries will have to.

    There's also going to be a lot of talk about global climate change finance, developed countries setting aside billions of dollars to help those developing world nations that will often be hit the hardest by climate change.

    The goal is to try and set aside a fund to help them adapt to climate change and deal with those risks.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Alright, Katherine Bagley, a reporter with InsideClimate News, thanks so much.

  • KATHERINE BAGLEY:

    Thank you for having me.

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