By Roi Lomotan
DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) – Environmental groups yesterday engaged the youth and civil society representatives in a consultation forum on local actions against climate change and to create awareness on the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) in France this year.
In a press briefing, 350.Org Southeast Asia coordinator Zeph Repollo said that starting November 30 until December 11, 2015, Paris will host the 21st COP, a United Nations conference that aims to gather world leaders and forge a new international agreement to keep global warming below 2 °C.
Repollo explained that in 2009, world leaders have agreed that planet Earth should not exceed beyond 2 °C, the limit they set on world heating.
Repollo described the upcoming event in Paris as a major political moment.
“It is very important. It could be a major political step forward and with the right build-up and huge amount of public pressure, Paris could be seen as the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel industry,” she said.
Climate Reality Philippines manager Rodne Galicha also expects world leaders to come up with a strong and legally binding agreement at the COP21.
“We hope to achieve big pressure and influence for world leaders to come up and find a strong agreement in Paris,” Galicha stressed.
Repollo also mentioned the “Climate Walk” event where delegates from the Philippines will join participants from other countries in marching from Rome to Paris to pressure world leaders to formulate serious policies against climate change.
With these, 350.Org together with its local counterpart the 350.Negros collaborated with The Climate Reality Philippines to initiate discussions with the youth and civil society for local climate change actions.
Galicha said they have been around the country to engage the youth in some solutions consultations focusing on climate change adaptation, mitigation, climate finance, and technology transfer.
“The output and the recommendation of the young people will be presented to the Climate Change Commission and the National Youth Commission as well, ” Galicha said.
“But not only that, we will be bringing this to Paris,” he added.
He believes the grassroots level of the community should be empowered in this issue since by the end of the day it is not the politicians who will act on it but the community. (rmn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was first published at PIA Website on Sept. 23, 2015)