Filipino youths demand strong climate agreement at UN

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Participants to the ‘Filipino Youth on the Road to Paris’

Participants to the ‘Filipino Youth on the Road to Paris’

Paris, France: While world leaders and negotiators continue to meet in Paris to address the global climate crisis, on the Youth and Future Generations day at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of Parties (COP21), Filipino millennials demand parties to address the worsening effects of climate change through an ambitious and strong agreement to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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This was their message through the Filipino Youth Statement on Climate Change, which was formulated and developed in a series of regional consultations and workshops in the country through the Road to Paris campaign of the Climate Reality Project (CRP).

“In these sessions, participants were divided into four workstreams—adaptation, mitigation, climate finance and capacity—building—and asked to identify three to five priorities that they believe the Philippines, as well as all parties to the UNFCCC should put forward in COP 21. Emulating the negotiations, the youth leaders were given time to meet with their groups to lobby for matters they thought most urgent,” said Rodne Galicha, Philippine manager of CRP.

In the statement, the Filipino youth demand a “global goal to phase-out fossil fuels by 2050 and limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and form, as well as strengthen existing mechanisms on adaptation, loss and damage, technology transfer and finance to help climate vulnerable countries such as the Philippines.

“Climate change is a social justice and human rights issue and demand that the Government of the Philippines in cooperation with all parties to the UNFCCC to come up with an ambitious, party-driven, gender-sensitive and participatory climate agreement,” the further statement declared.

The statement also reiterates the human rights approach to the negotiations, emphasizing that it is a moral imperative to bring to light the plight of women, children, people with disabilities, indigenous groups and marginalized communities as they are rendered twice vulnerable by climate impacts.

With the success of their participation, Galicha said that from 2015 onwards, The Filipino Youth Statement on Climate Change will be the annual culmination of Climate Reality Project in the Philippines’s youth campaign.

“Aside from its policy advocacy and climate education efforts, we seek to properly represent the youth sector in the climate negotiations by providing areas for dialogue and collaboration between the youth and civil society, government, and the Philippine Delegation to the climate talks,” he ended.

CRP is a global movement founded by Nobel Laureate and former US vice president Al Gore with a mission to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society.

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