#NowPH: Towards bigger, bolder climate actions
“This changes everything,” said journalist Naomi Klein of the global crisis of climate change, as the catastrophes it creates “changes what we can do, what we can hope for, what we can demand from ourselves and our leaders.”
In the upcoming COP 21 climate talks, world leaders are scrambling to come up with a new international agreement that will enable countries to come up with lasting solutions to the climate crisis, but the dominance of corporate lobbyists are making the chances slim. (READ: What's happening in Paris in December? 10 things to know)
People everywhere are now stepping up to take action. Last year, the world’s single biggest march for climate justice drew together 400,000 people in New York to demand bold actions on climate change.
WATCH: Survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda hold a march to demand climate justice
In the Philippines, around 20,000 organized survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) under the People Surge movement once again marched across Yolanda ground zero in Tacloban to protest persisting injustices they confront. (READ: Survivors occupy Yolanda ground zero to protest slow recovery)
This was followed by a daring protest by 10,000 marchers led by indigenous people against the globalization policies that they believed were the root of the climate crisis. Their demonstration was a mere kilometer away from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting.
That day, the people’s voices were truly heard.
#NowPH: A call for action
The Filipino youth are now testing the waters of climate action through the #NowPH campaign, driven by young athletes and celebrities to raise awareness and draw pledges to address climate change. Its launch drew a total of 47 million impressions on Twitter.
There are many simple acts #NowPH prescribes to young people everywhere, from using reusable containers to unplugging unused electronic devices; but the urgency of the climate crisis challenges the youth to take bigger and bolder actions. What can we, the youth in particular, do to take the #NowPH pledge a step further?
Dedicate your social media to climate information and action.
#NowPH encourages youth to trend climate relevant information on social media. Populating the social networks with climate news, memes, and infographics will help raise the consciousness of your fellow tweeps, Facebook friends and other netizens.
Always spare a minute to spread online campaigns like the Dear Pope open letter campaign by Yolanda survivors appealing to Pope Francis. As proven by the massive online campaign that helped stay the execution of migrant worker Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia, every online signature or share counts.
Organize a study circle on climate change with your friends.
Bring your online efforts offline by bringing your information drive from website URLs to your IRL (in-real-life) peers. Discuss basic climate science and the politics surrounding the issue. Learning about climate change is half the battle – taking action is the other.
Demand a people’s climate platform in the coming elections.
With the majority of the voter population composed of youth, the election season is an opportune moment to raise climate consciousness among young voters.
On November 5, 200 environmental advocates across the country launched the Philippine People’s Climate Platform, a comprehensive 12-point program that outlines much-needed changes in our economic and political systems to address the climate crisis. You can help in challenging electoral aspirants to help realize this platform.
Join a climate activist group near you.
Transforming the "Ako mismo (I myself)" mantra into "Tayo mismo (We ourselves)" is one big step that every youth should take. As the rallying cry of the Global People’s Climate March goes, “to change everything, it takes everyone.”
Change comes from the collective action of people, from hundreds of indigenous people barricading big mines out of their villages, to millions who powered the ouster of a corrupt government out of Malacañang Palace. Huge waves of transformational change always start from well-organized groups of people that started the ripples.
Be part of the People’s Climate March on November 29
If you want to try and take the leap into a world of bigger and bolder climate actions, you should join the upcoming Global People’s Climate March on November 29 right before the start of COP 21.
The march in Manila, which will coincide with hundreds of marches across the globe, starts 6:30 am at Plaza Ferguson to the Rajah Sulayman Park led by the Roman Catholic Church alongside Kalikasan, the Stewards of Creation, 350.org Pilipinas, and other environmental groups.
The first 4 actions, you can and should do anytime. Now is the best time for action number five. Let’s take the leap into the world of climate activism! – Rappler.com
Leon Dulce is the campaign coordinator of the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) and a volunteer campaigner for the Philippine counterpart of international youth-led climate network 350.org. Contact him through email@example.com.