Quezon City, Philippines, September 15, 2013 —Today, hundreds of Filipinos took to their bikes to pedal 14 kilometers from Pasig to Quezon City as part of the Ice Ride - a global mass bike ride happening in 110 cities in 36 countries. Wearing white, bikers from Greenpeace and the Firefly Brigade passed by historic Edsa Shrine and the People Power Monument before making their way to the Quezon Memorial Circle to declare their support to the worldwide movement calling for Arctic protection.
“The Arctic is at the very heart of regulating the earth’s climate, so protecting the ice means protecting the Philippines from the effects of climate change,” said Amalie Obusan, Regional Climate Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “We believe that every ride, whether long or short, big or small, will help build support for Arctic protection at this critical time. And so Filipinos today stood in solidarity with the rest of the world to demonstrate that global solutions start with local action.”
“The melting Arctic should be everyone’s concern because our very existence depends on what we can do now to minimize our carbon footprint,” said Karen Crisostomo, President of the Firefly Brigade. “The Ice Ride is a shout out for people to get on a bike and stop contributing to the burning of fossil fuels, and aim to be part of a more car-less society.”
The event coincided with the announcement of the Arctic sea ice minimum, the moment in late summer when the ice sheet around the North Pole shrinks to its smallest size. Last year, the extent of the Arctic sea ice hit a record-breaking low, around 11,830,000 sq km of ice was lost, fuelling global concern that climate change is destroying the Arctic region faster than previously thought.
The Ice Ride initiative is part of the Greenpeace Save the Arctic campaign, which in just one year has seen almost 4 million people, including 9,000 Filipinos, who have joined the call to protect the Arctic. The Arctic is under threat from climate change, from oil giants planning to drill high in the region for the first time and from other polluting industries.
Just before arriving at the Quezon Memorial Circle, where various activities were set up to promote Arctic protection, biker activists - including a polar bear mascot - stopped by a gas station of Pilipinas Shell along Blue Ridge in C-5 Road, to protest against the oil company’s plans to drill in the Arctic. While in London, a giant polar bear puppet named Aurora, will lead a parade to Shell’s global headquarters hauled by 30 volunteers and operated by 15 puppeteers. The double-decker bus sized bear, weighing around three tons, will carry the names of the millions of people who have already signed up to protect the Arctic through www.savethearctic.org
“The Arctic is already in a fragile state and if we allow oil companies’ addiction to dirty fossil fuel to destroy this region, we’re all going to pay the price for it. As our planet keeps warming, sea levels will rise and the weather will become more extreme and unpredictable, as we are already experiencing in the Philippines,” added Obusan. “We simply cannot sit back and accept that this is now the new normal for us.” For more information: Amalie Obusan Regional Climate Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia Mobile: 0917-5216804 Email: Beau Baconguis Program Manager for Greenpeace Southeast Asia Mobile: 0917-8715257 Email: For photos and videos please contact: Grace Duran Regional Images Officer for Greenpeace Southeast Asia Mobile: 0917- 6345126 Email: