Youth Taking the Future into their Own Hands
Friday, August 10, 2007
SolarGeneration Pilipinas Calls on Government to Help Stop Climate Change
MANILA, 10 AUGUST 2007-- On August 12, 2007, more than one billion youth from all over the world will be commemorating the 7th International Youth Day, which has for its theme, "Be Seen, Be Heard: Youth Participation for Development." SolarGeneration Pilipinas is one with youth from all over the world in celebrating the youth's role in nation-building and is calling on the Philippine government to work toward solutions to climate change.
"There is no better time to be part of the youth [base] than today. Numerous problems beset the country and the youth is quick to realize that it is not enough to cheer at the sidelines while the elders are going crazy trying to find solutions to such problems. The youth are now given the opportunity to act with the elders. In cases where elders are uncooperative, the youth has no choice but to take the issue into their own hands," said SolarGeneration Pilipinas member Denise Matias.
"The Philippines has just escaped an impending drought with the arrival of a much-prayed for downpour, which also claimed the lives of at least 6 Filipinos. Human-induced global warming is already rearing its ugly face in the Philippines. However, all is not without hope. Just as the current global warming trend is brought about by human activities, so can climate solutions be."
This is a good example of an issue where the elders are not in sync with the youth. Matias surmises that this is probably due to the elders' myopic view of the issue. Most elders reason that they won't live long enough to feel the effects of climate change, not realizing that it is their children's and the youth's future at stake.
SolarGeneration Pilipinas calls on the Filipino nation to fully recognize the role of Filipino youth in solving pressing global issues. In their campaign for climate solutions, SolarGeneration Pilipinas members give suggestions on what each and every Filipino can do to avoid catastrophic climate change.
"A little goes a long way. Even a small cut on your power consumption will limit carbon emissions. Turn off the aircon and just use an electric fan especially since it's getting cold [due to the rainy season]. Or for college students, when you pass by an empty classroom, make sure the lights and the fans are turned off. Don't forget to tell your friends and family to practice the same energy-saving habits. We all have a stake in this world after all," said SolarGeneration Manila member Monchi Roderos.
Roderos, however, was careful to note that this is only the immediate solution to climate change. He believes that only a good policy and sound legislation on climate change can effectively solve the current crisis. "Like it or not, the government is still the best answer to our climate woes. Write, petition, serenade or do whatever gimmick you can think of to your Congressman and Senator or even your local government to raise awareness on the issue. After all, they should be working for the public and that's us," added Roderos.
Fellow SolarGeneration Pilipinas members Mary Ann Lee and Criena House agree with Roderos. Lee believes, "that the Filipino nation should continue to push and lobby the government for the funding of clean energy projects. More awareness about climate change should be created among the Filipino people. Education of both the old and young alike, should be prioritized." House, on the other hand, reminds the Philippine government to put the country's resources into good use. "The government knows that the Philippines has alot of renewable energy potential, so why not make use of it? Especially at a time of energy shortage, it would be wiser to use wind, solar, or geothermal power than "clean coal" because it worsens global warming. Build wind turbines or set up solar panes than build superhighways," said House.
"In the 2004 International Conference for Renewable Energies Declaration in Germany, as a SolarGeneration Pilipinas representative, I witnessed the Philippine representatives 'reaffirm their commitment to substantially increase with a sense of urgency the global share of renewable energy in the total energy supply.' Three years later and with a new Department of Energy secretary, I have yet to see the government translate its commitment into action. This just shows how the government puts little value on their promises to the youth," said Abigail Jabines, now Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy Campaigner.
SolarGeneration Pilipinas members say that there are already enough empty statements, promises and commitments made. It's time that these are translated into concrete actions and that the elders and the government give more value to the youth. Climate change is already happening and it is happening fast. If the Philippine government is reluctant to take the lead on this, SolarGeneration Pilipinas members will have no choice but to step up, unite with fellow youth, and take their future into their own hands. ###
SolarGeneration is an international youth organization campaigning for climate solutions. Currently in 11 countries worldwide, SolarGeneration has actively participated in important climate meetings of IPCC, ADB, UNFCCC COP/MOP. SolarGeneration has also installed renewable energy projects and called for energy efficiency in schools through Green Campus projects. For more information, visit www.solargeneration.org. and solargenerationyouth.multiply.com
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