Pinoy climate champions on global warming: ‘We can win this fight’
MANILA, Philippines – Climate advocates from different sectors expressed their hopes of winning the battle against climate change after watching the premiere of the "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power," on Monday, August 28, in Quezon City. (IN PHOTOS: 'An Inconvenient Sequel' premieres in the PH)
The film is the follow-up to the award-winning 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which Nobel laureate Al Gore used to lend his voice to scientific opinion on global warming. In the documentary, Al Gore warned about the catastrophic effects that could result if the amount of man-made greenhouse gases is not significantly cut.
"The climate crisis is more real than ever. Today, the solutions are more real. The chances of us winning this fight is more possible because of the people in this room,” Greenpeace Philippines executive director Yeb Saño said in a panel discussion after the screening.
Anchored by the MovePH editor Voltaire Tupaz, the conversation also included broadcast journalist Atom Araullo, Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr Edu Gariguez, Climate Reality Project Philippines country manager Rodne Galicha, and Climate Reality Leader John Leonard Chan.
The documentary, which features how the Philippines experienced the impact of the climate crisis particularly when Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck, showed "hope that the global community is urgently acting on it,” said Galicha. (READ: Al Gore to Filipinos: Yolanda taught world about climate crisis)
The sequel focused not only on the disturbing predictions made by the 2006 documentary which came true over the past decade. It also highlighted milestones in the global fight againt climate change.
In 2015, global efforts to significantly cut carbon emissions reached an important milestone when the Paris Agreement was concluded in 2015. A total of 195 countries approved the deal during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in France. (READ: Fighting Climate change: What is the Paris Agreement?)
“The Paris agreement is based on responsibility and solidarity, and sense of urgency, so we could put our differences aside and work together,” said Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy in the Philippines Laurent Le Godec.
However, the United States announced its withdrawal from the pact under the administration of President Donald Trump.
“USA withdrawing from the Paris agreement is a setback,” Le Godec admitted.
But this should not be a reason for the public to waver in the fight against climate change, Gore said in the documentary.
"With all these threats, there is no better time to speak truth to power," Gore said.
The documentary suggested that Gore has played an important role in brokering a deal on solar panel technology with India that helped save the Paris agreement.
Before and during the negotiations, India, which is dependent on fossil fuels, argued why developing countries should bear the brunt of the climate problem created primarily by industrialized countries.
All in this together
Milestones like this should serve as a reason for the people to hope and continue the fight against climate change, according to Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr Edu Gariguez during the panel discussion.
He added that everyone has a stake in the climate crisis, whether the developing world or the industrialized countries.
"This is not only a concern of individuals or groups. This should be a concern of everyone. We're into this together,” he said.
Saño said that solutions exist and alternatives, like solar energy, have become more accessible and affordable. (READ: How cheaper solar panels could disrupt the energy sector)
Gariguez and Saño urged viewers to help in their own way and to recruit more people to become climate action advocates.
Not just a moral choice
Multimedia journalist Atom Araullo, who covered Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, encouraged everyone to act fast enough to solve the climate crisis.
“It’s not just a moral choice. It’s the choice that makes the most sense. We have no other choice but to act," according to Araullo.
After the panel discussion, The Climate Reality Project recognized Araullo (ABS-CBN), Imelda Visaya Abano (Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists), Howie Severino (GMA 7), and Voltaire Tupaz (Rappler) as media climate champions. (READ: Al Gore's Climate Reality Project names Pinoy 'Media Climate Champions')
Meanwhile, climate change and disaster risk reduction champion Senator Loren Legarda encouraged viewers to unleash the heroes in them and help combat climate change.
"Let us triumph over this climate battle so that we ignite hope not only for the present but also for the future generations," she said.
"The great battle confronting our generation is one that has to be fought within ourselves and among our communities," Legarda added.
The movie, which is distributed by Columbia Pictures, will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Trinoma and Glorietta 4) starting Wednesday, August 30.
For blocked screening requests in other areas, please contact Climate Reality Project Philippines through e-mail: email@example.com. – Rappler.com