More than 500k sign online climate petition with PH

David Lozada
The petition is initiated by Philippine Climate Commissioner Yeb Saño 'to ratchet up pollution controls and help poorer communities with funding'

STAND WITH THE PH. Around 513,132 signers have supported Philippine Climate Commissioner Yeb Saño's call for solidarity with the country's cause. Screen grab from

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Climate Commissioner and climate talks lead negotiator Yeb Saño started a community petition in to stand with the Philippines’ call “to ratchet up pollution controls and help poorer communities with funding.”

(Read: ‘Stop this climate change madness’)

The petition was posted on November 12, just 5 days after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) ravaged the parts of central Philippines. As of 9 pm Monday, November 18, the petition had already been supported by around 513,112 signers. The goal is to get a million signatures.

The campaign was borne of the Philippines’ experience of devastation from the super typhoon, which Saño described as an example of a “new climate reality.”

“New realities require new politics, I urge you to stop the sad tradition of feet-dragging on commitments to cut pollution, and breaking promises on finance,” Saño said in the petition.

He added, “We must acknowledge the new climate reality and put forward a new system to help us manage the risks and deal with the losses to which we cannot adjust.”

‘Climate change madness’

Saño, who hails from the hard-hit province of Leyte, recounted his personal experience of “agonizing” over the fate of his relatives while he was participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). (Read: PH negotiator calls for end to climate crisis ‘madness’)

“But beyond the colossal humanitarian challenge ahead, we must take the courage to face the truth: the superstorm was not just another natural disaster it was made stronger and more deadly by human-caused climate change,” Saño said.

The chief negotiator said his appeal to Avaaz members is “to stand in solidarity with the people of the Philippines and all victims of climate change worldwide.” Avaaz, meaning “voice” in several languages, is a web platform that empowers people around the world to start and win campaigns at local, national, and international levels.

“Together our voices can push the governments meeting at the UN climate summit happening now,” Saño added.

The UNFCCC runs from November 11 to 22 in Warsaw, Poland with the goal of reducing pollution and its effects.

Saño had been voluntarily fasting for climate change, refraining from eating food during the conference “until a meaningful outcome is in sight.”

The question that will determine our survival is: can humanity rise to the occasion? I still believe we can,” he said. –

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