The performance arrives on the sixth anniversary of the non-profit — founded by musician Jesse Paris Smith and cellist Rebecca Foon — as well as Climate Week NYC. The video clocks in at eight minutes, featuring artists, activists, students and more across 24 countries, 38 cities and 6 continents. Michael Stipe, Cyndi Lauper, Lenny Kaye, Jackson Smith, Stella McCartney, Ben Harper, Tony Hawk, Chris Stills, the Strokes’ Nikolai Feaiture, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner, Micah Nelson, Rain Phoenix, Tibetan singer and Pathway to Paris Board Member Tenzin Choegyal, Italian basketball player Gigi Datome and many more appear.
“A vision for the future includes a just transition out of the era of fossil fuels and into an era of 100% renewable energy, including the critical issues of racial justice, gender equality, protected rights of the indigenous and the end of suffocating poverty,” Paris Smith said in a statement. “An adoption of true human compassion while dismantling a climate of fear, leaving prejudice and hate in the past and moving toward a future of global unity.”
“The current pandemic surrounding Covid-19 has shown moments and threads of hope and optimism, but it also has shown just how fractured the communication of our planet remains,” she added. “This same frustration has been experienced for decades with the climate crisis and just about any unifying global issue of great urgency. We struggle to adapt and survive based on the information we are given and the immense lack of alignment in our decision making. There couldn’t be a more urgent time for the country and the planet to unify as one collective force, and yet we see more examples of the failure of this concept to take hold. Our current reality is one of immense suffering and a promise of continued disaster if we do not get together on our agreements, set more ambitious goals and make drastic plans for change today.”
The elder Smith wrote and recorded the anthem with her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith in 1987 when she was pregnant with Paris Smith. She often closes her sets with the song; it’s also been performed at every Pathway to Paris event since it began in 2014.
The “People Have the Power” video follows two virtual events from the non-profit: a 50th-anniversary celebration of Earth Day in April and World Environment Day in June. Paris Smith kicked off the year by releasing the song “Legacies,” her first solo single.