WITH barely a month prior to the national and local elections, a youth climate activist on Thursday called on politicians vying for elective positions in government to include mitigating environmental problems in their platforms.
“It’s really sad that climate change is not really part of the electoral agenda of our candidates now, and for me that is very disappointing,” Marinel Ubaldo, who helped found the Youth Leaders for Environmental Action Federation, said during the World Health Organization’s webinar for World Health Day 2022.
According to the registered social worker, it’s worrisome to find that some of political hopefuls in the country don’t see climate crisis as a problem where in fact it actually put everything else at risk in the future.
“It is a threat to our house, to our human rights, to our food sources, and it is a threat to our future in general. If we will not be able to actually tackle and put solutions to the problem in climate crisis, how are we going [to move] forward?” she pointed out.
Ubaldo, who was a survivor of Supertyphoon Yolanda (international code name Haiyan) in 2013, shared that she had a moment of realization that climate change was indeed a reality after seeing her community devastated by the effects of the strongest storm that ever hit the country more than eight years ago.
“I cannot say that I have fully recovered from Supertyphoon Haiyan, I cannot say that I have fully recovered from the trauma, from the lives that we have lost, from the livelihoods that we have lost. How much more if we will be facing this traumatic experience every year?” she said.
“We are nearing the point of no return. And if we would just keep on denying climate crisis and we will really see not just one or two supertyphoons in a year, we cannot afford that. If we do not have much resources actually to get back from one supertyphoon, how much more for 20 to 30 typhoons in a year?” she added.
Ubaldo urged voters to choose politicians who focus on the root cause of climate crisis and have the political will to address it.
She said: “We should really vote on a leader that is not just putting band aid solutions to the problem because we don’t need band aid solutions. We’re losing lives in our communities in the Philippines, we’re losing livelihood, we’re losing people that we love. We cannot just wait for our leaders to really make action because that is a very pressing [problem or] they’re procrastinating climate action, and we cannot afford to even waste more time and how are we actually moving forward with the [environmental] issues that we have now,” the youth activist said. “We have to push for more actions. We have to push our leaders to really take climate action in their electoral agenda.”
Image credits: Eoghan Rice-Trócaire/Caritas/CC by 2.0