Climate change issues difficult to sell to youth — commission

MANILA, Philippines — Making the youth understand climate change and its effect  remains a challenge, but “there is still a reason to be optimistic,” an official of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) said.

At a forum Saturday called #NowASEAN (Not on Our Watch-ASEAN), CCC Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman cited the big challenge they face in imparting the message of adapting to and mitigating climate change and its effects on the youth.

“In the first place, climate change issues are quite complex, not easily understood,” De Guzman said.

To address the problem, the commission is “strengthening its national panel of technical experts” to explain climate change at various forums, he said.

“These forums could hopefully be translated to concrete programs and actions which can convince people to change their ways,” he said.

“It will challenge us to really change our lifestyle... we have to go ‘green’ in everything, we have to be green in our skills, green in our workplaces,” he added. De Guzman explained that going “green” could mean learning proper waste segregation and harvesting rainwater.

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He said the CCC is working closely with the Department of Education to share knowledge about climate change among students, especially those in the kinder-to-senior high school (K-to-12) levels.

He said DepEd officials have committed to revisit and review existing curriculum and update teaching materials in the K-to-12 curriculum to include climate change.

“The effort is part of the CCC job to work with our partners and help us raise the level of understanding of the general public on  issues related to climate change,” he said.

Meanhile, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) country head Lotta Sylwander said the youth should be empowered “to speak up and participate, and that it is important to listen to them because (climate change) is really the biggest threat to the youth today.”