by the Weekly Sillimanian | December 4, 2022
The Silliman University Board of Trustees recently adopted a Declaration of Climate Emergency during its special meeting on Nov. 11 following a proposal from the Silliman University Student Government Environment Committee (SUSG EnviroComm), making SU the first university in the Philippines to do so.
This prompted Silliman to further commit to continue utilizing 100 percent renewable energy as a source of electricity, identify pathways to become a carbon-neutral university by 2030 or sooner, and mobilize more resources for action-oriented climate change education and service learning.
Additionally, this also prompted SU in continuing their support for research on climate change mitigation and adaptation, creating a University Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Committee, and supporting and collaborating with various stakeholders in their climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
It is not uncommon for efforts and declarations intended to push for climate action to turn out as “all bark and no bite.” Sometimes, no concrete action or initiative is taken any further, and environmental activism becomes performative. However, we from the Weekly Sillimanian challenge Silliman to uphold these commitments and to continue to push for successful efforts and effective changes – becoming champions of environmental protection.
We further commend SU President Betty McCann for pledging her support and the rest of the Board of Trustees for adopting the proposal to declare a Climate Emergency proposed by the SUSG EnviroComm amid the global climate crisis.
Oftentimes, local and national efforts fall short, and there is usually a disconnect between people – be it in terms of age, culture, social and economic class, gender, etcetera – but this is a call for Sillimanians to come together as a community and fight for our planet.
Environmental protection efforts do not need to be perfect, but consistency, teamwork, dedication, and determination are surefire ways to spark awareness and passion. Thus, subsequently instigating change and action.
We hope to see even more efforts and changes made concrete now and in the near future. The fight against climate change is as crucial as ever, and the successful mitigation of further irreversible damage does not require the efforts of a perfect few, but the continuous efforts of an imperfect majority.
This declaration needs to be the catalyst for serious action to be taken at both local and international levels to confront the impacts and threats of the climate crisis – not only for Silliman University and its constituents but also for the Filipino people.