Local Artists Join Call for a “Climate Action Now”
Posted on: Pep.ph
Text: Nerisa Almo
Photos: Yas Salanga
Oxfam-Philippines’ campaign called “Tik Tok Tik Tok: Time is running out,” held last night, September 22, at the PETA Theater in Quezon City, was a special gathering of TV personalities Tim Yap, Marc Nelson, Rovilson Fernandez, Ping Medina together with music artists Noel Cabangon, Lourd de Veyra, Marc Abaya, Ebe Dancel, Kate Torralba, director Dante Nico Garcia, and many others.
The artists listened intently to Oxfam spokespersons Lan Mercado and Kalayaan Pulido-Constantino as they explained the program’s objectives—to spread information about climate change and call on our leaders to come up with a just solution in the coming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark this December.
“The celebrities who are residing in the Philippines, I ask that they also pay attention, not just to this global issue, but to try to understand what exactly is going on in the Philippines and how are we affected by climate change,” said Ms. Mercado.
Ms. Pulido-Constantino explained the need to inform the public about the effects of climate change. She said, “Climate change is fundamentally a developmental issue. We have to address the issue on climate change because it affects each and every one of us, including the developing countries.
“Hope is not lost. We can do something if we act now. We want to say that we need to act now, we need to address the problem of climate change by reducing the carbon emission, stop global warming. Second, we need to help developing countries and marginalized countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.”
She also elaborated on how we can help in finding a solution to this serious problem of climate change.
Ms. Pulido-Constantino said that there are two possible ways. “First, by pushing for a ‘fair and safe [climate] deal’ in Copenhagen at the international arena. This is important because hindi lang dapat UN, hindi lang dapat Pilipinas ang mag-usap sa climate change. Kailangang mag-usap ang lahat ng bansa at ang pinagkaisahan nila, dapat binding. Ibig sabihin, dapat sundin ng bawat bansa.
“Second, it should be done at the national arena. We should do it by having clear national policies and program addressing mitigation. Ibig sabihin, pag-cut ng ating emissions nationally. Also, addressing adaptations, ibig sabihin nito ay ang pagtulong sa komunidad na harapin ang epekto ng climate change na nangyayari na ngayon.”
Celebrities’ own action on climate change
While waiting for the world leaders to come up with a “fair and safe deal” to solve the worsening effect of climate change, some of the artist advocates are already doing their personal contribution in reducing their carbon footprint.
TV host Marc Nelson, for example, has said “No to plastic bags,” like many other consumers. He told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), “As much as possible, I try to bring my own bag. If it’s something small, I try to carry it myself, reducing waste as much as possible.”
He finds ways to reduce his own carbon emission: “[Trying] not to drive my car too much. I have a scooter so [I use that] especially if it’s a short trip. Also, I’m a big fan of organic food and I cut down considerably my meat consumption, which is extremely hard because I love meat. But I’ve made a conscious effort to cut down on that because that really… I mean, the production of beef also produces methane, which contributes to climate change.”
Musician-actor Marc Abaya enumerates the little things he does to reduce his carbon emission. He said, “I try my best to quit smoking cigarettes. I’m really trying. I try my best not to use my air-conditioner as much as I would like. I try my best not to use my car as much as I would like.”
These may just be simple ways, but he pointed out, “These are the little things [that I do] and they do count. But I think more than that, mas mahalaga ’yong I am trying to help these guys spread the message of climate change and how it’s messing up the world and how so many people don’t know what it is about.”
TV host-columnist Tim Yap expressed his intention to help beyond information dissemination.
He reasoned out, “Celebrities, they get so much, they receive so much, so they need to purge. You know, since I’m in this cause, I also want to, like, give back. That’s why I’m also asking them what’s tangible that we can do.
“I mean, if it’s just going to be information dissemination by virtue of the people who listen to us, the people we affect, for me, that’s just very easy. Parang, we can do that. For us, it’s like breathing for us, we can spread the right kind of information that easily, it’s part of our job. But I wanna do more.”
One doesn’t need to be a prominent person to help in raising awareness on climate change, the artists emphasized. As Marc Nelson remarked to PEP, “I think everyone, in this day and age, more and more people have becoming environmental.”