It is time for Costa Ricans to start walking the walk instead of just talking the talk about global climate change, said René Castro, Costa Rica’s foreign relations minister.
Castro was one of many supporters from an older generation of Ticos present in downtown San José on Saturday to watch their younger counterparts march in a display of international solidarity against global climate change.
“I think we need action from the top down, we have people negotiating with countries around world,” Castro said. “But without young people sustaining the movement from the bottom up, we will be more talking the talk instead of walking the walk.”
A little more than 100 people participated in the Saturday morning march that started at the Central Bank of Costa Rica and ended in Morazán Park in the city’s center. University students holding signs, dancers on stilts, an array of musicians and many others chanted, “El clima está loca,” or “the climate is crazy,” and displayed their support for a reduction in fossil fuels.
The event was orchestrated as part of the iMatter March Initiative. An international collaboration of young supporters against global climate change, the initiative included 93 marches in 34 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia.
“The main objective of this march is to create awareness for political leaders about taking action now against climate change,” said Rafael Monge, a coordinator for the event. “We are inviting everyone to participate and are collecting signatures from people who want to see action now.”
Monge said drumming up support for a reduction in fossil fuels was one of the march’s three goals. In addition, he said educating young people about participating in a civil movement is of the utmost importance. Finally, Monge said the marchers wanted to collect signatures for a petition that will demand policies from elected officials to safeguard the environment for future generations.
Alexandra López, a university student and participant in the event, went from onlooker to onlooker, gathering names, signatures and contact information from anyone interesting in joining the cause.
“We want to keep people informed about how they can stay involved,” she said.
Monge said he thinks Costa Rica is making more steps in the right direction than most countries, however he wants to see more done to make Costa Rica the first nation in the world to adopt a truly green economy.
“We have a good image around the world,” he said. “But our country needs to work on reducing emissions, especially in the transportation sector.”
More than anything else, Castro said he was glad to see young people aware of the challenges global warming presents for the future. We are just starting to see the impacts of global change, he said, pointing out that the ones who will really suffer the consequences of our actions now will be from future generations.
“I think unless the whole society by itself realizes that we are facing the most difficult challenge for humanity in this century and probably many centuries it will be hard to succeed,” he said. “If we do not then the children and the grandchildren alive today will be the ones paying the price.”
For more information on the climate change movement visit: http://www.co2.cr/ (in Spanish).