Young people in the Philippines sent “love letters” to candidates for president in this year’s elections to remind them to ensure “climate justice and climate action” once they are in office.
The call came in the wake of Typhoon Megi (local name: Agaton) and on the occasion of Earth Day on Friday, April 22.
Greenpeace and youth partners delivered the “love letters” from Filipinos across the country to the headquarters of the presidential candidates in Metro Manila.
This was one of the activities under the “Love, 52” youth and elections campaign, led by youth organizations from various sectors, together with Greenpeace.
The groups called on presidential candidates to protect communities and ensure that the country’s next generation will not experience the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
They also called on candidates to stand for “inclusive, transparent and inspired models of governance that are fully accountable to people, and which protect and strengthen democratic processes and institutions.”
“This election poses a gross lack of discourse on the climate crisis at a time when scientists around the world are standing up for climate justice,” said Cris Jamil Hertez, Love, 52 youth partner from the Better Normal Youth Movement.
“We can’t keep playing catch-up with our climate; our future leaders must listen to the youth,” said Hertez.
Carmela Adelantar of the National Society of Parliamentarians, Inc. said future generations “have the most to lose if our next leaders still choose to sit idly by.”
“They need to hold the world’s biggest polluters accountable for the crisis we’re facing, and come up with coherent plans that will at least help us stay alive beyond the next decade,” she said.
“We no longer have time to wait. The next administration must place climate action as top priority agenda,” said Greenpeace campaigner Joanna Sustento.
“The climate crisis is not just about the environment, it’s about food, water, lives, health, and the economy,” she said.
They also need to ensure that democratic processes and institutions are protected and strengthened.”
Greenpeace called on future leaders to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the climate crisis and call on other countries to do the same.
“It must also lead the call for a global phase out of fossil fuels toward a just transition to renewable energy,” read a Greenpeace statement.