Environmentalists plan to stage a major rally in Washington D.C. on Sunday to urge lawmakers to take more action on climate change. Called Forward on Climate its organizers 350.org, Sierra Club, and the Hip Hop Caucus say this will be the largest rally on global warming in U.S. history.

In New Jersey, Hurricane Sandy's devastation is a reminder of the potential effects from climate changes.

"The areas that got hit by Hurricane Sandy really want to see action. Hurricane Sandy was a wake up call for people in the Northeast about the severity of storms," said Christine Guhl, 34, who works for the Sierra Club out of Bridgewater, N.J.

Guhl says preditions that sea levels will rise should be of great concern here. "[New Jersey is] vulnerable to sea level rise. We are a densely populated state." 

Keystone Pipeline project

Another focus of the rally is to block expansion of the Keystone XL Pipeline into the U.S. It would carry oil from Canada to refineries in Texas. The rally's timing comes as U.S. Department of State is considering a Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL project.

On Thursday, police in Washington D.C. arrested Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune and 350.org Founder Bill McKibben who tied their wrists to a White House fence to protest the pipeline plan.

Jack Gerard, the president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute says the public is on his side. On Thursday, Gerard said that polls conducted by API show 67 percent of registered voters support the pipeline. He also said construction alone would create 20,000 jobs and the pipeline poses minimal risk to surrounding environment. "The federal government has carefully examined the potential environmental impacts of the project three times and found no significant issues," Gerard said.

On the Mall

Thousands are expected to ride chartered buses this weekend to D.C. The Sierra Club N.J. says more than 400 people from New Jersey are planning to attend the noon rally on the National Mall.

In addition, thousands of others are expected to participate in 17 smaller rallies in the Midwest and West. Organizers also say a live video feed will be made available online. 

Scheduled speakers:

  • Michael Brune; Sierra Club Executive Director
  • Bill McKibben; 350.org President, Scholar at Middlebury College
  • Van Jones; Rebuild the Dream President, NYT Best-Selling Author
  • U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse; Rhode Island
  • Maria T. Cardona; Latinovations Founder, Dewey Square Group Principal
  • The Rev. Lennox Yearwood; Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO
  • Chief Jackie Thomas; Saik'uz First Nation
  • Crystal Lameman; Beaver Lake Cree First Nations