A night that united the Global North and Global South, ‘Power Our Planet: Live in Paris’ lit up the iconic Champ de Mars this evening, as climate activists, Heads of State, the biggest names in music, and twenty thousands global citizens gathered to call for justice on behalf of the world’s climate-vulnerable countries. Hosted by international advocacy organization Global Citizen, the event was broadcast and streamed live around the world, rallying the people everywhere to hold to account the leaders gathering in Paris for the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact, chaired by President Macron.
During an unforgettable acoustic set, which including hits ‘Your Power’, ‘Everything I Wanted’ and ‘Happier Than Ever’, Billie Eilish told the crowd, “I can’t even stress it enough – we really need to change our entire system so that the people most impacted by the climate crisis get what they need to fight it. So please, join me in demanding action from global leaders. Not in the future, but right NOW.”
Jon Batiste brought his unparalleled energy to the Power Our Planet stage, with songs ‘Be Who You Are’ and ‘Butterfly’, and H.E.R. wowed with her hits ‘We Made It’ and ‘The Journey’. In a surprise performance, Jack Harlow performed his hit ‘First Class’. Closing out an unforgettable night, Lenny Kravitz brought the house down with ‘Are You Going to Go My Way’ and ‘It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over’.
Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank, took to the stage alongside the Co-Chair of the Power Our Planet campaign, Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, to announce a fundamental shift in the World Bank’s policies, in light of the impacts of the climate crisis on developing countries: “Today I am proud to announce a new debt pause option for countries suffering in the aftermath of a natural disaster. It gives governments, and leaders like Mia [Mottley] a break from repaying their debts so that they can focus on recovery — they shouldn’t need to worry about paying the bills, and that was made possible because of you.”
Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley joined Banga on stage to call for action. “Change may not happen overnight, but it has to start somewhere. Action cannot be taken in some far off future, in fact it cannot even wait for tomorrow — we need to do this today,” said Mottley.
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil told the audience, “The Amazon is a sovereign territory, and at the same time the Amazon belongs to all humanity, and that’s why we will take all the measures to keep the forest safe everyday.”
William Ruto, President of Kenya said, “The joy and the happiness exuded by all of us here, I wish it could be shared around the world. The people of Kenya, Africa and many other parts of the world live in the reality of the new normal.”
“The U.S. may have signed the Paris Agreement years ago, but what good is it putting your name to a piece of paper if you don’t follow through on what it promises?” said Hugh Evans, Co-Founder & CEO of Global Citizen. “This morning in Paris, the U.S. had the opportunity to make history by announcing a real financial commitment to addressing climate change. Instead what we got was words from Janet Yellen that have no substance. Just last week, New York was engulfed by smoke from wildfires, and Miami was submerged in water due to severe flooding. What bigger wake up call does the U.S. need?”
“As we gather tonight, there are billions of people in low-income countries without access to the electricity needed to turn on a light bulb and stream new music at the same time. Without the healthy food needed to learn and grow,” said Rajiv Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “We’re spending more than $500 million to build solar-power grids in communities in Haiti. To provide school meals in Kenya that are good for people and planet, and to electrify 10,000 buses in India — an initiative just finalized today,” said Shah.
WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus took the stage to reiterate the call for global leaders to prioritize health amid the climate crises. “G20 countries promised to allocate $100 billion in special financing to help lower-income countries cope with things like climate change and struggling economies, as well as to provide investment in their health systems,” said Dr. Tedros. “They must help strengthen primary health care systems so that its workers can deliver life-saving immunizations, like the polio vaccine — so that we can get back on track to protecting the health of children around the world,” said Dr. Tedros.
Fati N’Zi-Hassane, Africa Director of Oxfam International, joined Tedros on stage to emphasize his call. “The impact of climate change on the health of the people in Africa is undeniable… and while we cannot stop the need for new hospitals and clinics tackling climate-related illnesses, we can make sure that our health workers are given fair wages and social protection,” said N’Zi-Hassane.
French Environmentalist Camille Etienne spoke about the crackdown against climate activism. “For many people around the world, the climate crisis is already a question of life and death. Those on the front lines of climate disruption are the least responsible for this disaster.”
Kenyan activist Elizabeth Wathuti spoke to the deforestation happening in Kenya. “Today, deforestation is not only destroying my home’s environment, but due to the effects of climate change, it is becoming harder and harder to reverse forest loss and land degradation,” she said. “It is time to prioritize people and our planet over short-term profits.”
Mexican activist Xiye Bastida reminded us why activists must play a role in decision-making. “The United States has the power to redistribute the water,” she said. “To acknowledge that historically, they have been dictating who gets what and how much. It is their responsibility to step up to free $1 trillion for vulnerable countries whose garden territories have been damaged by climate disasters. This access will help regenerate economies, pay for losses and damages, and strengthen adaptation measures.”
Environmentalist and activist from Samoa and 2022 Global Citizen Prize winner Brianna Fruean spoke about hope and resilience in the midst of the climate crisis. “We will all be impacted by the climate crisis one day, though in very different ways,” she said. “We are sailing the same troubled waters, but in very different boats. Vulnerable countries that contribute the least to climate change suffer the most.”
Ecuadorian human rights activist and co-founder of Polluters Out Helena Gualinga spoke about the importance of putting people and nature first. “We need more than a green transition. We need a new system where we put people and nature first. Latin America is one of the most dangerous places in the world for Indigenous peoples and land defenders. But our life’s work has been to protect our land. And therefore, our mere existence is our resistance.”
Rwanda-based activist Ineza Umuhoza Grace explained loss and damage. “In short, when we’re talking about loss and damage, we’re saying that the countries that caused the damage should be paying to fix it.”
Filipino activist Mitzi Jonelle Tan said, “We call on the Global North to drop the disaster debt, which would allow countries hit by natural disasters to focus on responding to them instead of being burdened by loans.” She continued: “We demand that these leaders step up and pay up through climate financing. This financing is critical to ensure all countries can adapt to climate change and see a rapid transition to clean energy.”
Founder and CEO of Farmer on Fire Ltd and Activist Wangari Kuria spoke about how alarming global warming truly is. “I am a smallholder farmer from Ngatataek Kajiado, a dusty town in arid Kenya… In our local language, Kiswahili, global warming literally translates into: “Alarm, alarm! The world is on fire.” And this is something the whole world needs to know.”
African Campaigner Dean Bhebhe reminded us why the time is now. “There is a saying that goes: ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the next best time is now.’”
United States activist Jerome Foster II spoke about the need for environmental justice. “Climate crisis and social injustice are inextricably linked,” said the youngest-ever White House advisor for environmental justice. “Our economic system must work not only for the few, but for all nations and all people, especially communities that are impacted first and worst by the climate crisis.
Activist and Founder Wawa Gatheru spoke about how climate change affects smallholder farmers. Climate change disproportionately affects communities of color, and women and girls are the hardest hit. Today, only 1.7% of climate funding worldwide goes to support smallholder farmers in developing countries who are at the front lines of the climate crisis. This is not fair.”
As the first major event in Global Citizen’s Power Our Planet campaign, attention now turns to the G20 summit in New Delhi, India in September; the Global Citizen Festival held during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, USA in September; the IMF and World Bank meetings in October; and culminating at COP28 in Dubai, UAE in November.
‘Power Our Planet: Live in Paris’ featured appearances by Rémy Buisine, Common, Connie Britton, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, Cyril Dion, Danai Gurira, Diane Kruger, Padma Lakshmi, Aïssa Maïga, Berla Mundi, Norman Reedus and Michelle Yeoh.
An alliance of world leaders representing both Global North and Global South countries has joined the Power Our Planet campaign alongside Global Citizen and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, including supporters Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone; Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain; José Ramos-Horta, President of Timor Leste; Biman Prasad, Deputy Prime Minister of Fiji, the Government of Ghana, the Government of Namibia, the Government of Zambia, and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
Power Our Planet’s coalition of supporters also includes leading activists, philanthropic foundations, nonprofit organizations, and private sector leaders, including Dr. Rajiv Shah, President, Rockefeller Foundation; Mark Malloch Brown, President, Open Society Foundations; Benedict Oramah, President of AfreximBank; Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization; Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi; Kate Higgins, CEO, Cooperation Canada; Jennifer Jones, President of Rotary International; Ban Ki-Moon, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations; Eloise Todd, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Pandemic Action Network; and Ineza Umuhoza Grace, Co-Founder of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition and 2023 Global Citizen Prize winner.
The Power Our Planet campaign is supported by: African Climate Reality Project; Aspire Artemis Foundation Inc.; Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens; BASICS International; Bays Planet Foundation; Beyond Bretton Woods; Blended Finance Taskforce; Brave Foundation; Center for Environmental Peacebuilding; Chanja Datti; Climate Finance Group for Latin America and the Caribbean; Common Good Marketplace; Connected Development; Don’t Gas Africa; E3G; Earth For All; ECB Sustainable Youth Foundation; Education Cannot Wait: The UN Global Fund for Education in Emergencies; Extinction Rebellion (XR) Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB); Focus 2030; Friends of the Global Fund Europe; GAIN; Gender and Economic Research Center; Germanwatch; Glasgow Actions Team; Global Alliance for a Green New Deal; Global Education and Leadership Foundation (Values 20 India); the Global Fund; Global Health Advocates; the Global Kid; Global Nation; Green Republic Farms; Hungry for Action; International Climate Change Development Initiative; International Climate Financing WG; International Electrotechnical Commission; International Fund for Agricultural Development; JA Africa; Jane Goodall Institute France; Jara; Lagos Food Bank; LEAP Africa; Loss and Damage Youth Coalition; Malala Fund; Marafiki United Green Youths Initiative; Millennials Movement; Moody’s; the ONE Campaign; ONG Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement (JVE); Only One; OurCause; OWIT Brussels – Organization of Women in Trade; Oxfam France; Plastic Punch; Power to Girls Foundation; Primavera Zur; Project Everyone; Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE); Re:Wild; Save the Children; SDG2 Advocacy Hub; Shamba Centre for Food and Climate; Sharing Strategies; She Leads Climate Action; Stage For Change; Strategic Youth Network for Development; Sungulo Comm NPC; Support Humanity Cameroon (SUHUCAM); Sustainable Development Solutions Network; Sustainability and Climate Podcast; UN Joint SDG Fund; United Nations Foundation; Uniting To Combat NTDs; Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI); Women At Risk International Foundation.
The Power Our Planet campaign and the ‘Power Our Planet: Live in Paris’ event is hosted in partnership with the City of Paris, is produced by Live Nation, and supported by Cisco and Citi as well as Afrexim Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Open Society Foundations, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Seadream Family Foundation. A series of thought leadership events focused on driving action from the private sector is being supported by Cisco and Citi. The ‘Power Our Planet: Live in Paris’ broadcast will be produced by Done and Dusted.
‘Power Our Planet: Live in Paris’ was broadcast and streamed to the world on Apple Music & the Apple TV app, the Amazon Music channel on Twitch, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, iHeartRadio, Associated Press, 9Now in Australia, France Télévisions, CSTAR and Brut in France, Evil Geniuses Creator Collective Twitch Channels, Mediacorp in Singapore, Reuters, SABC and TimesLIVE in South Africa, TNT in Latin America and the Caribbean, Veeps, YouTube, globalcitizen.org and the Global Citizen app.
Global Citizen is grateful for the support of leading media companies across the world including: AIM Group, Arena Holdings, Bandsintown, Bella Naija, Branded Cities, Brut, Clear Channel Outdoor, Dysturb, EIB Network, Europe 2, Executive Channel Network, Fun Radio, JC Decaux (France), Mediatransports, NRJ Group, OUI FM, OUTFRONT Media, Pass Culture, Politico, RFM, RTL2, Seen Media, Trooh, Vanguard Media, Wall Street Journal and Zikoko.