The Philippines has among the world’s least emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), but ironically, it is fourth among the world’s most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Recent reports say that the concentration levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is already at 400 parts per million (ppm), which is way above the 350 ppm scientifically proven safe amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is expected that the further increase in global temperature due to the continuing rise in the amount of carbon dioxide will result in more droughts, stronger typhoons, worse floods, and landslides. Marginalized sectors such as farmers, fisher folk, urban poor, women, children, and indigenous peoples suffer disproportionately because of their low capacity to adapt as a result of chronic poverty and lack of access to social services.

The year 2015 looms large as a critical time when experts and advocates agree we must act swiftly and strongly if we are to have any chance of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees C, let alone get back to 350 ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The year 2015 will come and go with only a whimper, unless a grassroots international climate movement can generate an unprecedented level of political pressure for climate action.


Last June 2013,, an international climate organization, embarked on another phase of climate leadership called Global Power Shift (GPS), a two-phase global campaign on climate change. The first phase was a gathering of 600 climate leaders in Istanbul, Turkey for training, community-building, and strategizing. The second phase is a global wave of national actions for solutions to climate change and its impacts in the different countries. Moreover, GPS is about stepping up the campaign efforts to contribute towards the achievement of 350 ppm level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. GPS is about empowering the people to take action towards shifting power:

  1. to include the voices of the majority particularly the marginalized sectors;
  2. to end fossil fuel dependence and destructive policies and projects that threaten our climate 
and people; and
  3. to claim climate justice and demand deep and drastic cuts in emissions for developed 

Now we are heading for phase two. 350 Pilipinas with its network groups will hold a national climate convergence in Cebu City on March 26-29, 2014. This will gather more than 200 passionate and committed youth leaders from across the country seeking a qualitative leap in the climate movement’s struggle in the Philippines, particularly issues and concerns of communities directly impacted by climate change. It is also a clear response to the impacts brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) as the foremost climate issue the country faces today.

Power Shift Pilipinas will bring the tagline “Sulong!” capturing our aspiration and demand to move our country towards a sustainable climate. We hope to create a lasting wave of national actions and mobilizations leading up to 2015. Similar gatherings by different names are already scaling up the climate movement in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, across Europe, in India, and Southeast Asia. This will be our space to come together, learn, share, strategize, bond, celebrate, empower, and collectively build a unified movement that can rise to the urgency and scale of the climate crisis.