by J. Taggart Wass
After Monday’s empowering speech by the Philippines lead negotiator Naderev ‘Yeb’ Sano and his decision to fast in support of his home country until a meaningful COP outcome was in sight, the youth of COP 19 decided to show solidarity for Yeb and the Philippines by participating in a voluntary fast for climate change. Just as lunch was in session Anjali Appadurai, flanked by various allies of Earth In Brackets and a swarm of media, gave her opening statement, declaring that the Youth stand with the Philippines and their struggle for real action in the COP. Yeb arrived and gave a moving speech to the cameras about the urgent need for a justice driven, equitable deal on the climate crisis. While a crowd grew around them posters with the different regions affected by the Typhoon were raised. Soon security was asking people to move because the escalators were being blocked and delegates were having trouble reaching the Cafeteria.
Anjali engaged the crowd with a series of mic checks, reinforcing the youth position of solidarity with Yeb and his countries position on real substantive climate action now. She made it clear that the youth would voluntarily fast in order to show that civil society is standing behind the Philippines for the second year in a row.
The purpose of the action was the kick off a civil society fast in solidarity with Yeb. The year before in Doha, climate justice groups held actions in solidarity with the Philippines after another Typhoon had struck. The action involved the red dot theme that was used in Doha as well. The red dots symbolize climate impact and standing with those countries most affected and least able to adapt to the impacts.
The dots are making a come back this year, as they are being worn by those participating in the fast and will be used at various NGO booths that support the Philippines stance in the COP.