NEW YORK (AP) — Labor unions and environmental groups said Wednesday they expect a huge turnout for a New York City march to draw attention to climate change taking place two days before a United Nations summit on the issue.
Organizers of the New York event, called the People's Climate March, said similar actions will take place Sept. 21 in other cities, including Rio de Janeiro and Lagos, Nigeria.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited heads of state to a Sept. 23 climate change summit in New York. President Barack Obama is expected to attend.
City Councilman Donovan Richards said at a rally to publicize the march that he expects many people from around the country "will descend on New York City streets to let our leaders know that we can no longer turn a blind eye to this crisis."
Richards was joined by dozens of trade unionists and members of environmental groups, like the League of Conservation Voters, on the steps of City Hall.
He also said he hopes to never see another Superstorm Sandy, which devastated his district in the Rockaways section of Queens.
"Unfortunately, the reality is that if we don't start to address global warming, I predict we will see another Sandy in our lifetime," Richards said.
While scientists are reluctant to blame any single storm on global warming, they note some conditions attributed to climate change — especially rising sea levels — contributed to or worsened the impact of Superstorm Sandy.