June 28, 2021
Filipino climate activists from Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP) are clamoring for more urgent climate action from national and world leaders after a leaked report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described a devastating future in store for humanity due to global warming.
The 4,000-page IPCC document leaked to Agence France-Presse last June 23 described scenarios of “unlivable” heat, cities submerged in seawater, and widespread hunger and malnutrition, all attributable to climate change, within the next few decades.
“This is not a world we want to inherit,” said Xian Guevarra, National Coordinator of YACAP. “Our leaders, who probably won’t experience any of this, are committing their children and grandchildren to a terrible, possibly unlivable future.”
“To think that, before my generation turns 40 or 50 years old, we could already be living in a country experiencing constant deadly heat waves, food and water shortages, and cities like Manila and Cebu could be partially underwater due to rising sea levels,” furthered Guevarra.
The Philippines is already one of the most impacted countries in the world when it comes to climate change today, and rising global temperatures are expected to make the situation even worse. Aside from the direct impacts of climate change on Filipinos, the Department of Finance has also recently warned that climate change could reverse any economic gains the Philippines has made in recent years.
The youth group called for more immediate plans and action from the national government when it comes to climate adaptation and mitigation.
“What we’re experiencing now with the climate crisis is here to stay. We need empowering, contextualized climate education and strong adaptation plans defined by the most impacted communities themselves,” said Mitzi Jonelle Tan, international spokesperson of YACAP. “Any future development must consider the reality of the climate crisis, and must only be pursued if it protects both the people and the planet.”
“The industrialized countries that have led us to this crisis have a climate debt to pay for their historical and current carbon emissions. A stop to emissions and an immediate and just transition to green industries is not just their responsibility, it’s reparation for injustices. We, the youth and the people, will make sure this debt is paid,” continued Tan. #