In an effort to spread climate change awareness and take action to end extreme poverty, the Global Citizen Festival will take place in Washington, D.C. for Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day. The free event will be held this Saturday, April 18, from 11am to 7 pm EST on the Washington Monument Grounds and will bring together world leaders, global policymakers, ministers, and executives to educate and inspire people to protect the planet, and address pressing environmental and poverty issues. No Doubt, Usher, Fall Out Boy, Mary J. Blige, Train, and My Morning Jacket will be the event's headliners, with special appearances planned by Common and Nigerian artist D'Banj. Will.i.am will host alongside veteran journalist Soledad O'Brien.
The Global Citizen event, which takes place four days before Earth Day, also coincides with the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund. The event will coincide with expected announcements from World Bank president Jim Yong Kim and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on their financial commitments to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals to end global poverty by 2030.
Marking the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, 2015 is a pivotal year as it marks the expiration of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the creation of the SDGs, the world's 'to do' list to address poverty, inequality and environmental sustainability. To ensure these new goals are successful, Global Citizen will work to bring millions of new people into the fight to end extreme poverty, giving them information and avenues for action.
"Earth Day Network is the largest recruiter to the environmental movement, and works year round to support civic action. 2015 is a historic year for activists all over the world who are coming together to solve climate change and end extreme poverty," said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network. "Our joint event is creating an even larger movement. Together we are calling on our leaders to end the status quo and to forge a binding climate agreement in Paris and bring justice to the 1 billion people living below the poverty line. We will accept nothing less."
“If our world leaders get it right, 2015 can be a historic year of progress for our people and our planet,” said Hugh Evans, CEO of The Global Poverty Project. “We have seen significant progress over the last 15 years, and Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day will see thousands of citizens calling on world leaders continue to recognize that the effects of climate change are felt the hardest by the world’s poor. The fact that this event is taking place on the National Mall–the epicenter for civil action–ensures that these citizens will be heard.”
No Doubt, who introduced Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg's $1 billion pledge at the 2014 New York concert, said, “Last year we rocked with 60,000 global citizens in Central Park, all committed to ending extreme poverty. We now help bring this movement to the nation’s capital, this time with a focus on climate change and its inexorable effect on the world’s poor. We owe it to our children to protect our planet and their futures.”
Usher, who was instrumental in bringing Blige and Common to the event, added: “Music has long had the ability to motivate generations and inspire movements. I’m proud to lend my voice to the call to end extreme poverty, solve climate change, and educate our youth on such a historic stage.”
In a statement from Fall Out Boy, the band said, “We are honored and humbled to be a part of this crucially important event. Taking direct action to make the world a better place—to eradicate extreme poverty and find a solution for climate change—is essential not only for us but for our kids and all future generations. If our participation and music can bring attention to these issues then we're doing our job right. We must stand together to make lasting change.”