PH environment advocates to tackle Yolanda experience in Al Gore's 24-hr show for climate action

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 18 2017 12:27 PM | Updated as of Nov 18 2017 12:28 PM

Barangay Magallanes in Tacloban City was decimated after a powerful storm surge brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda hit the coast in November 2013. FILE/Fernando Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Filipino environment advocates will join former United States Vice President Al Gore and other world leaders in an international 24-hour broadcast that seeks to inspire people to do their part in combating climate change.

The eighth hour of "24 Hours of Reality: Be the Voice of Reality", a global live event that will air on Dec. 4 to 5, will focus on the Philippines' plight and its call for climate justice 4 years after Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) devastated the Visayas.

"After Typhoon Haiyan (or as it’s known locally, Yolanda) became the strongest tropical typhoon to ever make landfall and ripped through the Philippines in 2013, taking the lives of thousands and inflicting billions in damage, there was no question about the reality of climate change. The only question was what to do," said Rodne Galicha, Climate Reality Project's Philippine manager.

"Four years on, we’ll explore the growing movement for action in the Philippines as faith communities and citizens alike call out for justice and bold steps to confront the crisis and help prevent another tragedy," he said. 

Manila Observatory Excecutive Director Antonio La Viña, Greenpeance Southeast Asia Executive Director Naderev Saño, and staunch climate action advocate Sen. Loren Legarda will appear on the show to talk about the Philippines' experience with disasters wrought by climate change. 

Other special guests that will appear in other segments of the show include musicians Annie Lennox, Jason Mraz and Ellie Goulding, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, among others.

"While the Paris Agreement gave the world a critical framework for solving the crisis, it’s up to us – concerned citizens of all backgrounds – to keep this progress going, no matter what actions the Trump Administration takes," Gore said in a statement.

In September, US President Donald Trump said the US would pull out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which puts a cap on carbon emissions.

The Climate Reality Project released the statement amid climate talks in Bonn, Germany, where nations pushed for faster action to enforce the historic 2015 Paris Agreement. 

The Philippines, a signatory to the Paris deal, is committed to implementing provisions of the environmental pact, said Legarda, who led the Philippine delegation to the Bonn conference. 

"The window of opportunity on achieving the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement is fast closing and any delay will result in the irreversible... We have to do both the difficult and the impossible at once. Only then can we truly say that we have fulfilled our obligations to future generations, because only then can we leave a world where life can continue to exist," Legarda said in a separate statement.

The "24 Hours of Reality: Be the Voice of Reality" will be carried by broadcast partners globally, and streamed live online at 24HoursofReality.org.