The future is dependent on your vote
Did you know that 52% of the Philippine voters population falls under the youth sector? Because of this, Greenpeace recognizes the youth’s role in the elections, especially in choosing leaders who join us in the struggle to fight against climate change. With Love, 52, Greenpeace encourages and empowers the youth to responsibly vote for a better future. After all, once we realize why our votes matter, that’s when we can help shape a green, livable, lovable and just future.
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Conversations around climate change, especially during election season, are essential yet often overlooked. With the time we have left on this planet, every election is now a “climate election.” The climate crisis affects our environment, which trickles down to all parts of our lives. To continue addressing other issues in the country and the world, we need to act on climate change first.
Greenpeace believes that the youth votes because we love—our community, family, country and the environment we all inhabit. We vote in the hopes of protecting them from avoidable threats. Love is the reason we want a better future—for ourselves and for our Philippines. Ahead, we list down reasons why our votes matter and why we should vote out of love.
Transportation and mobility
It’s common knowledge that traveling within the metro is a battlefield. In 2019, Metro Manila commuters lost 257 hours to traffic. Nonetheless, we have the power to make it better by electing officials who can and will address this issue through environmentally sound means. For example: road sharing through public policy. Future leaders should fairly split our roads among private cars, public transportation vehicles and other climate-friendly modes of transport. In addition, our roads currently cater to the privileged few. But once public transportation becomes the better mode of transit for all, more individuals will prefer commuting. This will significantly decrease our contribution to carbon emissions.
Protecting our biodiversity is another reason why our votes matter. The Philippines houses between 70% to 80% of the world’s plant and animal species. This makes us one out of 18 mega-biodiverse countries—another reason that makes us proud to call this country home. But it’s no secret that climate change greatly affects our ecosystem. Many of our underwater plants and animals are vulnerable to changes in the climate. What’s more, the amount of single-use plastic found in our waters threatens our rich biodiversity. If our future leaders don’t hold the mass manufacturers accountable, could our oceans survive the next couple of years?
Food and water security
The worsening climate change situation also dramatically affects our food supply. This fact is alarming for an agricultural country like the Philippines. Every summer, the threat of water shortages and El Niño looms over us. The phenomena affect our crops, the livelihoods of the agricultural sector and the supply of necessities that reach us. That’s why our votes matter. We can elect the next set of politicians that will address climate change. Because if they don’t, we can expect burgeoning food crises, skyrocketing prices of goods and more jobless Filipinos.
The climate crisis continues to increase the frequency and intensity of storms that pass the country. According to the Commission of Human Rights, the Global Climate Risk Index (GCRI) identifies the Philippines as part of the top 10 countries most affected by the climate crisis. This led to their inquiry about climate change, aggravated by major fossil fuel and cement companies, which can lead to human rights violations. But we can still prevent the future loss of lives and livelihood by supporting leaders who firmly stand for climate justice. Their platforms should include enacting laws to prevent the worsening of the environmental crisis, holding major fossil fuel and cement companies accountable and improving disaster preparedness.
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The elections can change and affect the trajectory of our lives. That’s why our votes matter: because Filipinos can serve the greater good through the polls. Our voices and choices have power, even stronger than those in public office. The high stakes significantly affect our futures, which we hope to enjoy with our loved ones without any imminent threat.
Together with Greenpeace and the youth, let’s keep pushing for a better normal and livable future. Continue discussions on climate change, and address the crisis. Choose and research leaders who pledge to stand up for climate change. Lastly, acknowledge the fact that your duty transcends campaigns and Election Day. #TheFutureIs52, especially in holding these politicians accountable for following through with their promises.
Greenpeace’s #Love52 campaign focuses on empowering the youth voters, as they have the power to ask the question “Why do we vote?” and demand for a better normal. Greenpeace believes that #TheFutureIs52. For more information, visit their official website.
Photos Greenpeace Philippines
Art Matthew Fetalver