Group starts petition urging youth, government to act on climate crisis

online petition

The ‘I am Climate Justice Movement’ needs volunteers to get barangay ordinances passed in support of the campaign

— (MANILA, Philippines) A group of “young, earth-loving” individuals initiated a petition seeking immediate action by young people and governments around the world – starting with Filipinos – to address the looming global climate crisis.

Called “I am Climate Justice Movement,” the initiative urges the youth to make a personal pledge to act, in whatever small ways, on the pressing issue of climate change.

According to the group, pro-environment policies have long been on the table, but “the people still seem unprepared for it, the systems barely working to lessen the damage.”

In a Facebook post, Living Laudato Si (LLS) science policy officer John Leo Algo said, “Despite such actions being seemingly insignificant at first glance, imagine the far-reaching effects these ‘little things’ can do if everybody does them,” said Algo.

 

Algo also told Rappler that once the petition reaches more than 800 signatures, it will be forwarded to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) (through Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr) and other concerned government agencies for them to forward the concern to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Anyone interested to help can get from the group a copy of the petition paper and draft barangay ordinance, which they can present to their village officials for consideration. To prod the barangay council to pass a resolution, the petition needs at least 50 signatures from either registered voters from the barangay or younger people who are represented by their parents.

If the barangay officials don’t take action despite the signed petitions, Living Laudato Si’s partner lawyers and ombudsman will compel them to act.

International citizens may also participate by becoming the group’s international partners. The group plans to partner with organizations in other countries for a global campaign.

The group plans to appeal to the DFA on April 22 to bring their concern to the UNGA in September. An UNGA resolution, the group explained, is needed for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to release an Advisory Opinion that would assist the Philippines and other countries in their legal duties for climate action.

The group has so far kickstarted their activities through discussions in various universities across the country. As of now, the group has petitions and ordinances to be filed in barangays in Las Pinas, Mandaluyong, Iloilo, Naga, Cebu, Bacolod, and Nueva Ecija, and is currently coordinating with groups in Palawan, Bulacan, Ilocos, and Biliran. This is an attempt to spark action from the local level, the barangay, “where things are personal and problems can be solved as a community.”

Last March, young activists from across the globe emptied their classrooms and marched the streets to call on world leaders to act on the global climate crisis.


by Sofia Virtudes | Rappler.com

 

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