San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza and the youth gathered in front of the Fountain of Justice at Araneta Street in Bacolod City yesterday to stress the urgency of the need to mitigate climate change.
The activity was held in solidarity with tens of thousands of young people who skipped classes around the world yesterday to join a global day of student protests that aims to push world leaders into action on climate change, Alminaza said.
“It was great to see drivers, passengers and passersby stop to read our messages and express support,” he added.
The Climate Reality Project Philippines commended in a statement the youth of Negros Occidental who joined the Global Youth Strike for Climate.
“We join these young advocates in voicing out the need for urgent action to limit global warming to 1.5 C and uphold climate justice. We also support their campaign to make their province coal-free and a true center of renewable energy in the Philippines,” the Climate Reality Project Philippines statement said.
“They may be young, but they’re teaching adults a valuable lesson: Global leaders need to take the climate crisis seriously – and they need to start now. Young or old, we all support them in this historic event. The incredible young people are taking their future in their hands,” it added.
Alminaza and the three other bishops of Negros Island are opposing the proposed construction of a coal-fired power plant in San Carlos City.
The San Carlos bishop and the environment groups are also calling on the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to support Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.’s declaration of Negros as coal-free.
The SP has yet to decide whether it will declare Negros Occidental coal-free.
Students flooded into the streets across Europe and Asia carrying placards that read "There is no planet B", "You're destroying our future" and "If you don't act like adults, we will".
Despite 30 years of warnings about its dire impacts, carbon dioxide emissions hit record levels in 2017 and again last year.
Loading the atmosphere with greenhouse gases at current rates, scientists agree, will eventually lead to an uninhabitable planet.
In Stockholm, Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg who inspired the protests, was thronged by journalists and several dozen protesters, one carrying a banner declaring "Make the Climate Greta Again".
"I don't think I was really behind this movement, I think it was already there and just needed a spark to light up," she told Swedish public television station SVT.
"We are living through an existential crisis that has been ignored for decades, and if we do not act now it may be too late," said Thunberg, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism.*CPG/AFP
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