United States Youth Delegates Fast in Solidarity With the Philippines, Call on the US for Real Leadership on Climate
- Created on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 06:37
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 07:02
- Written by SustainUS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12 November 2013
WARSAW - In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, head Filipino negotiator Nadarev Yeb Saño announced 11 Nov at the UN COP19 climate negotiations that he will begin a “Fast for the Climate.” Nine U.S. youth delegates from SustainUS and the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC) announced they are joining a fast in solidarity with Saño and the Philippines. Saño’s country is experiencing tremendous hardship: Haiyan is its second extreme weather event in under a year. As of Tuesday, reports estimated at least 10,000 fatalities and 600,000 displaced in the wake of the typhoon.
SustainUS and SSC believe the best way for the United States to act in solidarity with the Philippines is to address the root cause of climate-fueled disasters like Haiyan by implementing ambitious national climate policy. Given the current political reality in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) holds the key to substantial nation-wide carbon reductions: the EPA can bypass a Congress reticent to address climate policy.
In its upcoming decision regarding regulations on carbon emissions from existing power plants, the EPA has substantial discretion. “The EPA can write weak regulations that achieve next to nothing or ambitious regulations that produce results,” said SustainUS delegate Clayton Munnings. “Strong regulations will reduce carbon emissions from existing plants upward of 26% below 2005 levels, by the end of the decade.”
SSC delegate Ashok Chandwaney remarked, “Yeb Saño inspires us to act; we fast in solidarity with him, because that’s what we can do. We ask those who make decisions about climate - here at COP19, back at the EPA, and around the world - to listen to him, summon their courage, and dial up their ambition for the work we must do.”
In choosing to fast, the members of SustainUS and the SSC are calling on President Obama and the EPA to demonstrate real federal leadership on climate in the United States. SSC delegate Ashley Wineland remarked, “People in the Philippines, people everywhere are being affected by something we can still easily change. The country I'm from is blocking the policies that could make the storms stop getting worse. People are dying and my government is doing nothing, yet. They need to be pushed; I couldn't not fast.”
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- Created on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 03:26
- Last Updated on Thursday, 14 November 2013 03:08
- Written by Leehi Yona
Today was a long day: before I knew it, we’d spent 14 hours at the sports stadium convention center, running nonstop from meetings, to plenaries, to actions. It definitely doesn’t feel as though it’s only our second day here!
The day began on an intense note: following Yeb Sano’s speech that moved half the plenary to tears yesterday, our YOUNGO meeting began this morning with a discussion about organizing voluntary fasts from civil society in solidarity with the Philippine delegation. Dozens of youth, as well as members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are refraining from eating in various capacities throughout COP19. Among the SustainUS delegation, we currently have seven delegates – Adam Greenberg, Anita Raman, Collin Rees, Ryan Madden, Adam Hasz, and Alix Generous – who have all committed to fasting during COP19. More than twenty NGOs are joining together to work on this peaceful fast.
We’re kind of amazed at how quickly these actions have spread: we’ve already received notice from friends and students back home in the U.S. who are joining us in solidarity with the Philippines this COP. It’s incredibly inspiring, and encouraging.
It goes without saying that the Filipino people have been on our minds and in our hearts for most of the day. It is with this in mind that we participated in a planned action today to publicly announce the civil society fast and to bring to light the communities directly suffering from the after-effects of Super-Typhoon Haiyan. Yeb and Lidy from the official Philippine delegation were there with us!
Credit: Lingxiao He/SustainUS
We rallied our voices with other youth from around the globe in demanding clear, just, binding action from negotiators, particularly on the issue of Loss and Damage. The Philippines have been left to deal with the economic costs of the disaster themselves – left to deal with the devastating impact of a typhoon whose severity was impacted by the actions that some countries at this conference have taken. It isn’t morally right or just for developed countries such as the U.S. to idly stand by as the Philippines count their dead. As Adam Greenberg recently mentioned: “There are so many ways we can each take action to build a better world. I just want to remind you that people are fighting. And people are dying.”
Our actions today are about more than just what’s happening on the international stage, or even in the Philippines. While we stand in solidarity with Yeb and his community, we are also very aware that our country must take significant action at home to push for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We’re pressuring the Obama Administration to take a clear stance on strict EPA regulations for coal-fired power plants. We know that it can – and must – be done, which is why we’re planning on organizing an action around it tomorrow.
#COP19 #ClimateLegacy #FastForTheClimate #WeStandWithYou #ThisIsWarsaw #Coaland #ClimateJusticeNow #HashtagOverload
- Created on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 03:11
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 03:11
- Written by Scott Chernoff
Before the sun even rose, most of us were rising from our hostel beds and feeling around for dress clothes, grabbing our UN badges, and tossing assorted chargers and adapters into our bags, and heading out into the cold Poland morning to head to COP19.
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