SULONG: Philippines Power Shifting post Super Typhoon Haiyan
By Mel Fabrikant Friday, March 28 2014 @ 11:07 AM EDT
Sulong! Power Shift Pilipinas national convergence takes on the Philippine climate crisis
- Over 100 youth and grassroots advocates from 50 organizations are participating in Sulong! Power Shift Pilipinas national convergence to confront the climate crisis less than 6 months since the devastation from Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). This comes just two days before the release of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expected to highlight the fact that society is vastly underprepared to deal with the increased risks posed by climate change impacts while the dangers of a warming planet are immediate and very human.
“For the Philippines, and many countries worldwide, climate change is no longer a distant threat, but a clear and present danger that comes in the form of super storms, more floods and droughts,” commented Zeph Repollo, 350.org South East Asia Coordinator. “The only way to minimize these devastating impacts is to keep much of known coal, oil and gas reserves in the ground. The Philippines is the third most climate change-vulnerable nation despite its negligible contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our survival depends on keeping fossil fuels in the ground.”
The national convergence in the Philippines will involve a protest against the ongoing construction of Aboitiz’s 300MW coal power plant, and the onshore oil drilling in Aloguinsan.
Sulong Power Shift is part of the second phase of the Global Power Shift climate campaign which started last summer in Istanbul with the convergence of more than 500 climate activists from around the world for training, community-building, and strategizing and now the second phase is a global wave of national actions for solutions to climate change and its impacts in the different countries.
Organizers of Philippines Power Shift said the event’s theme, Sulong (Move forward)!, envisions “a surge in the movement to claim social, environmental, and climate justice from projects and policies that have aggravated the vulnerabilities of communities to the adverse impacts of climate change.”
Delegates are participating in ‘skills track’ training sessions on digital tools, media and communication strategies, direct action and movement building, policy advocacy, and creative activism. Participants will also tackle issues on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, and how young people can help build resilient communities following Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
The Island caucuses will also be convened to integrate grassroots campaigns in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The event will culminate in a day of action with a candlelight vigil in solidarity with the Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) victims.
 While no single weather event can be tied to global warming, climate change is loading the dice for extreme weather events like Haiyan. The storm's strength and rapid development have been aided by unusually warm ocean waters and warm, moist air (warm air holds more water vapor than cold). Global warming also causes sea level rise, increasing the risk of flooding from storm surges, especially in low-lying areas like much of the Philippines.