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Philippines

Filipino Catholics urged to join 'Global Climate Strike'

Sept. 20 will see millions of people across the world demanding action against the climate crisis

Joe Torres, Manila

Joe Torres, Manila

Updated: September 19, 2019 07:25 AM GMT
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Filipino Catholics urged to join 'Global Climate Strike'

Filipino Catholics hold a march to welcome the "Season of Creation" in the Philippines on Sept. 1. (Photo by Jire Carreon)

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Filipino Catholics, especially the youth, should go out in the streets and raise awareness on the need to address what is a "climate emergency."

This was the call issued by environment activist and priest Edwin Gariguez ahead of a "Global Climate Strike" set on Sept. 20.

The "Global Climate Strike," inspired by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, will see millions of people across the world walk out of work and schools to demand action against the climate crisis.

"We need to raise the alarm through this global protest to demand that our governments address this climate emergency, and reduce emissions by adopting renewable energy policies," he said.

Father Gariguez, who heads the social action secretariat of the Philippine bishops' conference, said everyone should do their part "in caring for and saving our common home."

He said that among the things people can do is adopt a sustainable lifestyle, avoid overconsumption, avoid using plastic, and do carpooling to minimize their carbon footprint.

The priest said everybody can also join protests against coal and coal-fired power plants and lobby for a renewable energy policy.

The Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI), a network of civil society and faith-based groups, issued a similar call, saying people need to act on the current ecological crisis.

"There is a climate emergency and we need to act now.... We need to step up and do more than a hundredfold," the group said in a statement.

Several scientists have warned that the world is almost at a tipping point with the global surface temperature heating up to a degree which is life-threatening to all life forms.

"It will be difficult to undo the fate of our planet if global carbon emissions hit above 1.5° Celsius," read the statement.

The 1.5° Celsius mark is the new “safe” upper-limit for global warming according to scientists.

"The climate change impact won’t discriminate in terms of color, race, age or boundaries and calling it an emergency or disaster as scientists say is an understatement," it added.

The "Global Climate Strike" will take place on two successive Fridays designed to coincide with an emergency climate action summit being held at the United Nations in New York beginning on Sept. 23.

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