The COP26 may be over but the work continues to save vulnerable countries from catastrophes of climate change.
The COP26 or the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland concluded last November 12. It was described as “a good negotiation” by US climate envoy John Kerry. But the fight to prevent any more natural disasters is far from over. Vulnerable countries like the Philippines are still experiencing changing weather patterns.
International Superstars Urging World Leaders to Act on Climate Change
For years, environmentalists and activists have been working together to come up with solutions to protect their respective communities from natural disasters. Affected families of disasters have also answered the call. They take part in non-government organizations and attend various seminars on climate change.
International celebrities have called on world leaders as well to act on the issue of climate change. K-Pop superstars BLACKPINK even urge them to take action.
Why Parents and Today’s Youth Should Take Climate Change Seriously
Modern Parenting reached out to Climate Reality leader Erick Vazquez Barranco. He works with Pusyon Kinaiyahan in Cebu and talks about why parents and today’s youth should take climate change seriously. He also shares how we can avoid any more disasters.
Modern Parenting: In 2015 in Paris, all countries agreed to make sure to sustain the 1.5 degrees Celsius heat. But it seems it’s not happening. Are rich countries really to blame for this?
Erick Vazquez Barranco: No. Everyone is to blame for [it]. Developing countries like the Philippines also have their part in it taking advantage of loans that they use for their own purposes and are not really destined for environmental sustainability or climate discrimination.
Rich countries have a different way to avoid acting on climate, but then we have successful countries that have shown that it is possible to live with renewable energy for example. All it takes is the will to do it and stop burning fossil fuels or consuming and producing plastics, working the land in a regenerative way, etc.
How Parents Can Influence Their Kids
Modern Parenting: For parents, how do you motivate or encourage them to take part in environmental issues?
Erick Vazquez Barranco: My babies are still young, so for me, as a parent, this is continuous teaching of habits. For example, segregation. Use just what is needed, recycle, etc. Presenting them with sustainable or organic products is also a way this will become normal in their life just like brushing teeth with non-plastic toothbrushes, organic toothpaste, or what they eat.
For parents of older kids, it goes into making them participate, exposing them to what is happening around the world. Teach them about the climate crisis because even though it may sound like polluting them with negative information, they have the right to know what’s happening and they can take action if they want. They have the right and we have the responsibility to present the issue and give them the choice to act or not. That depends on them. So all you can do as a parent is teach, expose, present the issue and its solutions, and guide them in whatever route they decide to take.
Modern Parenting: Today’s youth has called out government leaders to act and be accountable for what’s happening. Are they hopeful at this point? Or are they still frustrated with the results and promises?
Erick Vazquez Barranco: There’s a lot of frustration, but that’s the beauty of the youth. They don’t give up and they always come up with new ways. We are now seeing more in independent journalism channels how young people are acting more extreme. There are more rebels and they all are being put in jail. You won’t see it in CNN or ABS because governments don’t want people to see this but join groups like FFF or XR and you’ll see how interested young people are in stopping climate criminals and exposing them. And yet the climate activists, the real activists, are treated as criminals.
The Biggest Concerns of Climate Change
Modern Parenting: As someone involved with the climate change issue, what are some of the biggest concerns that are rarely discussed and need action now?
Erick Vazquez Barranco: Force out politicians to enforce the law. We need our senators and congressmen and women to write new laws and enforce them. Ask the real problem makers (private sector) to seek solutions to reduce their carbon footprint by at least 50%. The money these corporations have is more than doable. It’s just up to them.
Modern Parenting: This may be a basic question but why should parents and today’s youth care about the results of COP 26 in Scotland?
Erick Vazquez Barranco: We should be informed. What’s important is not Glasgow. What’s important is what grassroots organizations are doing and joining them in their mission.
Doing Your Part
Saving Mother Earth goes beyond climate change summits. People should walk the talk and take action. As this generation faces climate change, it is important for parents to educate their children that the resources left on the planet are at a critical level. Change starts within and as one of the environmental principles goes: Nature is beautiful and we are the steward of God’s creation.