MANILA, Philippines — How can we combat climate change through simple deeds?
On Tuesday, October 6, the National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) with the support of the Embassy of France, USAID, and Friedrich Naumann Foundation introduced an awareness drive on climate change – the #NowPH campaign.
#NowPH is a youth-led campaign calling on countries to act on climate change issues to prevent global warming from reaching two degrees celsius.
It aims to gather a million pledges which will be submitted to French President Francois Hollande, who is presiding the 21st conference of the parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). (READ: #COP21 climate action: 1 million voices from PH to Paris)
In Paris, the world will come up with an international agreement that hopes to achieve a “low-carbon and climate-resilient future.”
On October 1, the Philippines submitted its climate action plans to the United Nations. This contribution, alongside those of other countries, will be used to help consolidate a better international agreement.
“We will be defined by how well we survive, not by how bad we suffer,” said CCC Vice-Chairperson Lucille Sering. In 2013, the Philippines was named as the country most affected by climate change.
“Dalhin natin ang one million signatures at sabihin sa mga Pranses na ‘wag na tayo magpatumpik-tumpik pa, (Let’s bring the 1 million signatures and tell the French for us not to delay),” she added.
As of October 6, over 24,000 Filipinos have shared their pledges online.
The campaign is supported by Filipino icons, known in fields such as television and film, environmentalism, peace-building, music, among others.
Among the industry leaders who support the campaign are: journalist Jiggy Manicad; actors Nadine Gutierrez, Alden Richards, Julie San Jose, Dingdong Dantes, and Marian Rivera; TV personality Sam YG; rapper Gloc-9, singer Noel Cabangon; and weatherman Kim Atienza. #NowPH is also represented by advocates like Renee Karunungan of the non-governmental organization Dakila, environmentalist Ben Muni of Greenpeace Philippines, Bai Rohaniza Sumnad-Usman of Teach Peace, as well as typhoon Yolanda survivor Chrysha Briton.
“Climate justice will not only benefit this generation, but more importantly, the next,” stressed Karunungan. “The youth today understand better the impacts of climate change because we feel it more than ever.”
Celebrities who stand by #NowPH said they want to use their influence to urge Filipinos to care about the environment. “Sometimes we can get easily disheartened easily but if we act now, change is possible,” said Guiterrez.
Meanwhile, Usman pointed out the link between peace and protecting the environment, “Climate change can create conflict, it can destroy the beauty and richness of resources,” stressing the importance of “environmental peace building.”
“Mindanao is a major food srouce in the Philippines, if it is damaged, everyone’s affected. I wish for a more sustainable Mindanao,” Usman added.
The campaign promotes 15 easy ways to combat climate change. Are you doing any of them?
- Think before you print
- Promote renewable energy
- Support Earth products
- Switch off and unplug
- Use energy-efficient appliances
- Environmental and energy awareness
- No to burning of waste
- Bring your own tumbler
- Use pail, dippers, or cups
- Reduce, reuse, recycle
- Walk, bike, or carpool
- Recycle electronics and batteries
- Grow a tree
Climate change is not solely an environmental issue, advocates say, it cuts across other areas such as agriculture and food security, gender inequality, health and education, governance, among several others.
The youth sector, according to NYC chairperson Gregorio Tingson, can help battle climate change. “With the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and reforms in place, this is possible,” Tingson said.
Support the campaign and share your pledge. Visit nowph.org to learn more. – Rappler.com
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