EAST ASIA. On September 19-21, thousands of people in a number of East Asian countries took to the streets in cities and towns around the region to demand action on climate change. This is part of the global People’s Climate March, where hundreds of thousands of people in more than 156 countries join over 2646 events and rallies, on the eve of a historic Climate Summit at the United Nations.

“East Asia is at the frontline of climate change, and communities have been suffering from more frequent and severe typhoons, floods, droughts and rising sea levels”, said Natwipha Evasakul, 350.org East Asia Team Leader. “But we do not accept to be victims. Today we stand up as the region, demanding our governments to take action, not words. We’re showing what real leadership looks like.”

And the real leadership is when communities without borders joined the region’s People’s Climate March, not only as attendants but also as organisers. Youth-led and community-led mobilisations in different forms and sizes are seen throughout the region, from rural villages to major metropolises. At the events large and small, people from all walks of life pushed for the changes they want to see in order to address the climate crisis.

In Indonesia, the world’s largest coal exporter, thousands of people joined a large rally in Jakarta today, to send an urgent demand to the newly elected President Joko Widodo, for him to commit his administration to build an economy that is powered by renewable energy, not by fossil fuels like coal. People marched to the city’s iconic Bundaran HI, holding banners and posters and chanting out their hope for a new development pathway that works for the people and climate. The program also included booth displays, photo exhibition, public discussions, flashmob, music show, and an activity to ask people to sign on the petition to the President-elect at 

Also today, dozens of activists gathered together on the street in Seoul (South Korea) to show their support to Ban Ki Moon at the UN Climate Summit, speaking out “We are here!”, and urge the city to have more renewable energy for the next generation.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, and Hanoi of Vietnam, young organisers worked with artist groups on a creative action “September Black Day”: Human statues, body painted in black, wearing gas masks, stood in the cities’ busiest public places, to raise the awareness about the negative impacts of coal on the human and environmental health.

In Taipei, Taichung and Tainan of Taiwan, mobilisation, flashmob and university event were coordinated to raise awareness about energy and climate change. Also, use the “Action, not words; Vote for Climate Now” as slogan to asking better environmental policy to the coming election around end of this year.

In Tokyo, people gathered in front of the Finance Department of the Japanese Government with slogan “Nuclear Free, Carbon Free”, to send a strong message that nuclear power is not the answer to climate crisis.

In the Philippines, people marched across Manila, Davao, Dumaguete and many other provinces, and raised their voice for urgent and bold actions on climate change, for their own survival, as the country had suffered from frequent disasters including last year’s Haiyan typhoon.

In the world’s largest coal consuming country China, coal capacity building workshop and exhibition were held at the city square of Dalian, while young students held their own events in two universities of the city.

Actions are also seen in Malaysia and Singapore, with climate picnics, film screening, engaging local young people in the regional wave of climate actions during the People’s Climate March.