Filipino youth advocate for climate justice at COP27

Filipino youth on November 10 presented their stand on climate justice at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC or COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, during the conference’s Youth and Future Generations Day.

This is the first time that Filipino youths were able to submit their declaration in person since COP22 in Morocco. The declaration called for the protection of the 1.5°C ambition – the target to limit global warming to avoid catastrophic climate change effects in the future – and sought the end of fossil fuel use to achieve it.

“We, the Filipino youth, are set to inherit a catastrophic climate future. As world leaders have these annual talks on a crisis that is still not treated like a crisis, we in the Philippines and other vulnerable nations suffer increasing poverty and devastation – with our homes, schools, and even entire villages washed away by floods and typhoons; our food driven to scarcity by droughts; our people growingly feeling neglected and helpless. We demand our cries to be heard,” read the declaration.

The declaration was signed by 21 youth organizations and handed over by a delegation led by Krishna Arriola of the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) who shared her firsthand experience with the increasingly violent typhoons that visit the Philippines with greater frequency.

“Days before COP27, I found myself stranded for two evenings in a bus that could not move due to raging rains and floods at the onslaught of Typhoon Paeng (international name Nalgae). Bad as that was, many communities suffered far worse – in some towns, families fled low-lying and coastal areas only to be killed or injured by flash floods and landslides,” said Arriola.

The youth are pushing for faster transition to sustainable renewable energy to protect their future, stating that the 1.5°C goal is non-negotiable, and calling on countries to honor pledges made in previous conferences.

“Every day that the world dallies in phasing out fossil fuels is an injustice to our people. Companies like Shell – who put up more gas and other fossil fuel projects amid this climate chaos and curse our people for furthering poverty by destroying their livelihoods – are blocking the possibility of a livable future. But the youth is fueled by hope and wrath, and we will not stand for this,” said Arriola.

Photo credit: CEED. On Youth and Future Generations Day at COP 27, Filipino youth advocates in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, presented a Youth Statement signed by 20 youth organizations in different parts of the Philippines to the Philippine Delegation. 

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