COP26: Young climate activists defy obstacles to raise their voice in Glasgow

"THEY CAN’T IGNORE US"Bonifacio has forsaken his budding medical career and is committed to the Youth Advocates for Climate Change Action Philippines (YACAP). He said he feels like stars have aligned to give him the change to amplify his voice in Glasgow. Still, he is reflective about the reality of the power discrepancy between young people like him, and those actually on the inside of the negotiating rooms. “It's definitely difficult because we're in the same conference area, yet it still feels like they're miles away,” he said. “Right now we’re just trying to maximise our opportunity by going to the places we can go to, specifically covering issues like adaptation because that’s a very big thing in Southeast Asia and in the Philippines in particular.  “If they're not going to let us in, we’re going to make sure that they can't ignore us as much as we can.”Loss and damage is a crucial goal for poorer nations that are already bearing the brunt of climate change without causing it, nor having benefited from extensive industrial development. The Philippines is among those.In the Paris Agreement, wealthy nations pledged to contribute US$100 billion annually to developing nations, with at least half going to adaptation. Overwhelmingly, this finance is not being mobilised and estimates are that much more finance needs to be made available. “I feel that they are not taking it seriously,” Bonifacio said. “These sorts of things are non negotiable. How can countries like the Philippines build themselves up in the context of so many problems and now they’re getting hit by all these climate impacts? “How can we really adapt without that support that essentially the global north owes to the global south?”

COP26: Young climate activists defy obstacles to raise their voice in Glasgow

"THEY CAN’T IGNORE US"

Bonifacio has forsaken his budding medical career and is committed to the Youth Advocates for Climate Change Action Philippines (YACAP). He said he feels like stars have aligned to give him the change to amplify his voice in Glasgow.

Still, he is reflective about the reality of the power discrepancy between young people like him, and those actually on the inside of the negotiating rooms.

“It's definitely difficult because we're in the same conference area, yet it still feels like they're miles away,” he said.

“Right now we’re just trying to maximise our opportunity by going to the places we can go to, specifically covering issues like adaptation because that’s a very big thing in Southeast Asia and in the Philippines in particular. 

“If they're not going to let us in, we’re going to make sure that they can't ignore us as much as we can.”

Loss and damage is a crucial goal for poorer nations that are already bearing the brunt of climate change without causing it, nor having benefited from extensive industrial development. The Philippines is among those.

In the Paris Agreement, wealthy nations pledged to contribute US$100 billion annually to developing nations, with at least half going to adaptation. Overwhelmingly, this finance is not being mobilised and estimates are that much more finance needs to be made available.

“I feel that they are not taking it seriously,” Bonifacio said. “These sorts of things are non negotiable. How can countries like the Philippines build themselves up in the context of so many problems and now they’re getting hit by all these climate impacts?

“How can we really adapt without that support that essentially the global north owes to the global south?”