Schools pledge to help save the climate at the Philippine Climate Congress of Schools

Feature story - November 17, 2007
Sixty-six schools and universities pledged to take part in the global effort to help solve climate change during the Philippine Climate Congress of Schools initiated by Greenpeace and supported by Lakbay Kalikasan, Saint Paul College of Pasig, and Phoenix Publishing House. The Climate Congress of Schools is the first meeting of its kind in the region to gather school administrators to lead the implementation of institutional measures for climate protection.

Representatives of schools and universities from around the Philippines hold a banner which outlines their pledge to take part in the global effort to help solve climate change during the Philippine Climate Congress of schools at St. Paul College, Pasig City. The congress, initiated by Greenpeace and supported by Lakbay Kalikasan, St. Paul College and Phoenix Publishing House is the first of its kind in the region to gather school administrators to lead the implementation of institutional measures for climate protection.

"Greenpeace is honored to work with schools and universities who are voluntarily implementing solutions to help save the climate. Their participation is an important contribution to our 'Simple Lang, Save the Climate' campaign. This shows that it is possible to tackle thechallenge of global warming in the institutional as well as individual levels, and it is also a message to the government that they should inturn do their part by tackling climate change at the level of policy," said Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner Abigail Jabines.

During the congress, all schools supported an Energy Revolution for tackling climate change. Greenpeace believes that a revolution in theway energy is used and produced is the key to stopping the global threat. Schools and universities have therefore pledged to establishenergy efficiency measures, and to join the call for the government to facilitate the massive shift to renewable energy sources through the passage of the Renewable Energy Bill.

Specifically, participating schools and universities pledged to:

1-increase the awareness of all the members of the school, especially students, parents, faculty, and administration, on issues concerning climate change and energy efficiency, through efforts such as talks, letters to parents & posters;

2-implement energy efficiency programs  that students, faculty, administration, management, maintenance, and all other units and membersshould practice;

3-implement renewable energy systems within the school whenever feasible;4-implement school projects and programs that are environment-friendly;

5-encourage students to join Solar Generation youth in advocating climate solutions; and

6-call on the Philippine government expedite the passage of the Renewable Energy Bill, primarily by joining the Global Day of Action for the climate on December 8, 2007.

All St. Paul schools, colleges, and universities nationwide support the initiative as part of the Paulinian mission of evangelization underwhich stewardship of the environment is a priority advocacy.

Among the schools participating in the congress, the Technological University of the Philippines-Visayas (TUPV) has already set up an oncampus program for energy efficiency. The university has established an Energy Management Committee, a campus-wide forum on energy efficiency,and various energy saving measures. According to the TUPV, this has caused a ten percent reduction on the institution's electricity costssince 2005. Greenpeace says that the decreased energy consumption also translates to less carbon dioxide emissions from energy production,therefore helping ease climate change.

The Climate Congress of Schools is the culmination of Greenpeace's 'Simple Lang, Save the Climate' school tour and public awarenesscampaign that encourages individuals to do simple, everyday acts that can help save the planet from global warming. Since July 2007, theproject has engaged students and individuals from all over the Philippines including Baguio, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Metro Manila,Cavite, Batangas, Cebu, Bicol Region, Negros Oriental, Panay Island, Negros Occidental, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao.

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