Six climate leaders join Global Power Shift conference in Istanbul and lead national climate movement in the Philippines

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – As the Philippines faces the start of the rainy season and once again confronts the effects of climate change and disasters, six young Filipino activists are stepping up to the challenge.  The six climate leaders will be traveling to Istanbul, Turkey from 24 to 30 June 2013 to participate in Global Power Shift, an international youth leaders’ summit to address climate change issues, at Istanbul Technical University.

Global Power Shift (GPS) is an initiative of and organized by 350.org, a youth-led network and movement started by environmental writer Bill McKibben, in order to organize and strategize national-level movements to address climate change in countries across the region and internationally.  The first phase takes place at the summit, where 500 young climate leaders from 133 countries will convene to discuss and learn strategies for strengthening their local movements in the areas of art and creative activism, non-violent direct action, media and communications, digital campaigning, and policy and advocacy.

The Filipino delegates are:

  • Feby Basco-Lunag, representing the Cordillera Youth Network for Global Change
  • Philline Donggay, a Climate Leader with the Climate Reality Project
  • Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
  • John Lumapay, Artist Teacher
  • Marjorie Pamintuan of the Asia-Pacific Research Network
  • Erin Sinogba, representing Redraw The Line, a climate change campaign led by the Asia-Pacific Media Alliance for Social Awareness

The six delegates form the core leadership of Power Shift Pilipinas, the national-level movement aiming to carry out the second phase of GPS in the Philippines. The delegates represent diverse national environmental organizations and movements, and their combined efforts and networks aim to build massive support towards the common goal of mitigating the effects of climate change in the country.  Together, the team have begun a series of consultations with stakeholders and partners throughout the country to build a strategy for confronting the climate crisis in the Philippines, particularly by targeting the fossil fuel industry.

“Challenges on climate change, energy policy, and resource scarcity, among others, should be tackled today,” said Ms. Basco-Lunag. “Creating sustainable solutions is a topmost priority that should be undertaken, and mining and coal power plants are definitely not the answers towards a better tomorrow.  Global Power Shift is a venue for a global collaboration to work out a common dream for a more promising future, where the voice of the youth, being the innovators and visionaries of the future, can be heard by our leaders.”

“Climate change is coming at us from all directions, but the good news is, we have the solutions and there is still a chance to turn things around if we act now!” said Ms. Donggay. “That is the essence of the Global Power Shift: the transition from dirty fossil fuel energy into renewable energy (RE) in order to prevent the runaway warming of our precious planet. In the Philippines, we will confront the coal industry and present solutions to all Filipinos that a complete shift to renewables is possible, easy, and even affordable.”

“The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 allowed a virtual monopoly of private foreign and local interests in the industry,” said Mr. Dulce. “All 25 existing and approved coal energy projects, owned by foreign and local multinational firms,  prioritize cheap but dirty coal energy for profit. We have been fighting for a clean, indigenous and nationalized energy industry for the Filipino people, and we’re bringing in the entire world into this fight through the GPS.”

“Power source is one of the major aspects of human development put in question, since the current ways still cannot augment its massive effect on the earth’s natural processes,” said Ms. Lumapay. “GPS can provide us a space that will arm advocates with strategies for relevant action. In this manner, we hope the community will be empowered both with the knowledge and the capacity to respond accordingly, developing awareness from the grassroots level to the global context and creating a substantial impact in our environment.”

“Grassroots communities bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change but are least heard where carbon-intensive energy and ecologically destructive development policies, such as mining and deforestation, are made,” said Ms. Pamintuan. “Along with poverty and lack of access to services, education and information about climate change, these policies worsen the vulnerability of grassroots communities to climate change. At GPS, we aim to shift the power to these communities and their movements to raise their voices against these policies and projects, and advocate for socially-just adaptation and mitigation solutions to climate change.”

“The Philippines is among the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change,” said Ms. Sinogba.  “We need innovative and inclusive processes to ensure that everyone can participate in protecting our environment and that those in power listen to those voices.  Through the Power Shift movement, we hope that our collective actions can make a difference in how our leaders treat our environment and how our fellow community members can participate in disrupting the status quo.”

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Global Power Shift is being organised by the international climate campaign 350.org, with support from partner organisations Avaaz, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice, and others. 350.org is named after 350 parts per million, what many scientists consider is the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

For more information about Global Power Shift, visit http://www.globalpowershift.org .

For more information about 350.org, visit http://www.350.org.

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REFERENCE:

Philline Donggay, Media and Communications Lead, 09328765880

Erin Sinogba, Digital Campaigning Lead, 09335500802

powershiftpilipinas@gmail.com

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About Feby Lunag

A community development worker, researcher, climate, youth and women advocate and a freelance writer. A very passionate woman who loves family, work, adventure, world travels and most of all God.

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