PARIS, France – Speaking from his heart as a young father, Commissioner Dingdong Dantes of the National Youth Commission shared his hopes for his week-old daughter, Maria Letizia, and the hopes of more than 3 million Filipinos at a high-level forum on the sidelines of the climate change conference in Paris. (WATCH: #NowPH: For Maria Letizia Dantes and her generation)
“There is big science talk behind this, a lot of theories, hypotheses, computations. Numbers! Units of measurement like 2 degrees Celsius or 1.5, but at the heart of it all, it really is just caring for our planet – our common home – regardless of race, creed, color, stature, or capacity,” Dantes said at the Climate Vulnerable Forum, at the kick-off of the 21st Conference of Parties of the UN Convention Framework on Climate Change (COP21).
The two-week Paris summit is expected to craft an ambitious deal that will keep global warming below 1.5°C, instead of less than 2°C, the disastrous tipping point of climate change. (READ: Aquino: ‘Fair’ climate change deal for poor countries)
‘Not on our watch’
Dantes earlier led a national campaign called #NowPH or “Not on Our Watch.” It mobilized the youth and netizens to support climate action and to adopt 15 ways to curb carbon gas emissions. These emissions are feared to double over the next 50 years, causing global temperatures to rise to a catastrophic 3°C by the end of the century.
The drive initially aimed for a million pledges for climate action, but since its launch on October 6, the call rippled through online and offline communities, racking up at least 221 million views on Twitter, according to Rappler’s data analytics tool, Reach. It gathered nearly 3.6 million voices of support.
See how the #NowPH campaign grew in 3 months with the help of its pillars, ambassadors, media, celebrities, advocates, government agencies, schools, and online communities.
- 47-M Twitter views: Youth dominate climate change action #NowPH
- 136-M Twitter views: Pledges for climate action surge as #COP21 nears
- Youth affected by Typhoon Koppu join #NowPH campaign
- #NowPH advocates, celebrities remember Typhoon Haiyan
- #NowPH climate action generates buzz on Haiyan anniversary
- Youth form human banner for #NowPH climate action day
In the Philippines, the campaign culminated in the National Day for Youth in Climate Action on November 25.
“NOWPH is our country’s informed voice that goes above the din of all these highly urgent, terribly important, globally relevant conversations swirling around Paris these past few days and especially in the coming week,” Dantes told the high-level forum that headlined Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.
The Philippine leader joined Dantes in the symbolic presentation of the #NowPH voices to Annick Girardin, Secretary of State for the Development of France.
At the well-attended CVF event, leaders from vulnerable countries called for full decarbonization of the world economy by shifting 100% to renewable energy by 2050, and zero emissions by mid-century to keep global warming at bay. – Rappler.com
#NowPH is an initiative of the National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from USAID Building Low Emission Alternatives to Develop Economic Resilience and Sustainability Project (B-LEADERS). MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, is a social media partner.