Unified Filipino youth push for fossil fuel phaseout at COP27
Filipino youth organizations urged the government delegation to COP27 to take strong positions in pushing forward fossil fuel phaseout, loss and damage finance and 1.5C alignment in the climate negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, experiencing an average of 20 typhoons a year, with billions worth of losses and damages.
From 2010 to 2020, the Philippines incurred around P515.51 billion (US$10.6 billion) in losses and damage brought about by climate-related disasters.
Severe Tropical Storm Paeng, which hit the country a week before COP27, is an unfortunate but timely reminder of the reality of the crisis in a country like ours.
The climate negotiations are crucial to the survival of millions of Filipinos – and we expect this crisis to be treated with nothing less but the urgency it demands.
During the first State of the Nation Address of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in July, he made a commitment to increase the use of renewable energy as a solution to slow down climate impacts, and asserted climate change mitigation and response as one of the top priorities under his administration.
Since the pronouncement, the Philippines has suffered multiple climate-induced disasters, but has seen none of the concrete solutions promised. There is no clear picture of what those climate solutions look like under the Marcos government despite it being a top agenda.
"The Filipino people cannot afford to recover from one disaster after another, but these disasters are only one of the manifestations of drastic climate impacts. High fuel prices, rising prices of basic commodities, fragmented ecosystems, gender-based violence, inhumane working conditions, displacement of communities, and loss of livelihood are a few more direct impacts of this crisis that also need to be put at the front and center of the discussions. We cannot wait for more storms to take action when climate impacts are robbing our people of lives and dignity every single day," the groups said in a joint statement.
On Youth Day at COP27, the Filipino youth submitted a statement to the Philippine Delegation urging tjhe government to abolish fossil fuels and stand up for the Loss and Damage Finance Facility.
A report from the International Energy Agency in 2022 states that there is no more room for coal, oil, and gas in the race to the 1.5C limit. As a party to the Paris Agreement, the Philippines has committed to the 1.5C target – and we demand to see that commitment in action, not just in words and promises.
"Young people all over the Philippines have been at the forefront of raising awareness and taking action, and have been actively participating in all levels of governance to bring real solutions to the climate crisis. The youth have never lacked in initiating discussions, working with different sectors, and lobbying policies despite the limitations in institutionalized spaces under a repressive political climate. We expect our leaders to act with the same urgency and stand by their duty in protecting the lives of the Filipino people, and put interests that conflict with survival aside," the groups said.
Young people, along with workers and other sectors, are taking to the streets to strike for climate justice all over the Philippines — bearing messages of urgency for our leaders here at COP27.
"We call for leadership from our government in a time of crisis, and assert our demands as a country on loss and damage finance, fossil fuel phaseout, just transition, and adaptation and mitigation in the negotiations. We are all affected by the impacts of this crisis, and when we all go underwater, so do you," the youth groups said.
"The only livable future is 1.5C. Our future, your children’s future, and the future generations rely on our leaders taking action NOW, not tomorrow. There should be no more empty promises, no more delays and no more compromises. 1.5C is non-negotiable. Our lives are non-negotiable," they said.
"No more coal, oil, and gas! Stand up for loss and damage finance facility! Climate justice now!" said the groups which include Youth for Climate Hope, Youth Strike for Climate PH, Linghod, Negrosanon Young Leaders Institute, Kasimanwa, Mangrove Matters PH, YEY Initiative, Sagup Negros, ECOSILAK - Youth for Verde Island Passage, Silliman University Student Government Environment Committee, SPAG Society, SAVE PH, Pro People Engineers and Leaders, Filipino Youth Against PAREX, Aksyon Verde, Alyansa Tigil Mina Youth Network and AltMobility PH.
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