Thursday, July 21, 2016

Youth to Duterte: Honor Paris Agreement to Secure Our Future

Wazzup Pilipinas!

A youth group on Wednesday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to push for the ratification of the historic Paris Agreement that aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (36F) and strive to keep temperatures at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

"We appeal to our new president to reconsider his position on the Paris Agreement. Ratifying the Paris agreement is not just about honoring our word to the international community; it is about giving the youth a chance to live freely without fear of super-disasters like the recent super-typhoon Haiyan. The Paris agreement is about securing the future of the Filipino youth," said Rafaela David, chairperson of Akbayan Youth.

The youth groups further emphasized how the Philippines must maintain its leadership in the issue, as it has done in the past years.

"We may be a small nation, but we have stood up for what is right by our people, and successfully rallied other nations most affected by climate change to fight for international solidarity in the face of catastrophic changes in our environment. Why then would we renegade on our commitment when victory is close at hand? Kumbaga sa basketball, panalo ka na sana, kaso pinasa mo pa sa kabilang team ang bola”.

The youth groups also urged congress to call for the immediate ratification of the agreement.

"We also call on our legislators to be proactive in ensuring the ratification of the Paris agreement. Even as they wait for the President to transmit the treat to the legislative branch, we hope they do not dampen the hope of the youth, and put in their weight to ensure that the Paris agreement is ratified. By doing so, we are assured that the future of the youth is at the center of their agenda," concluded David.

The Paris agreement was agreed and signed by 195 countries after years of failed negotiations. It will only be considered binding if at least 55 nation-states ratify it by 21 April 2017. Delegates of Akbayan Youth joined the civil society network that monitored the agreement in Paris, France last December 2015.

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