Ang Kalusunan: The power of youth and climate action

By Aimee Oliveros


When I was younger, I remember a song by John Denver that I sang at a school program. It starts at a low pitch and progresses to a high pitch towards the end. It was a song that I remember practicing over and over, with the dancers behind a silhouette, only their shadows were visible. There was a time when I almost lost my voice, lost my tune, and lost my confidence, but I didn’t give up. I still remember the lyrics from start to end.

I want to live I want to grow
I want to see I want to know
I want to share what I can give
I want to be I want to live

And I can still remember the feeling I felt when I was singing that particular song—the feeling of hope, the feeling of being seen and heard. I was on a stage and people were listening to my story. I felt that I was making a difference with my song and my performance.

That experience was life-changing in a way that I would only realize years after. I heard this familiar song on the radio just a few years ago and all memories came rushing in. All the familiar lyrics but somehow, I felt the meaning of the song changed for me after all these years.


We are standing all together
Face to face and arm in arm
We are standing on the threshold of a dream
No more hunger no more killing
No more wasting life away
It is simply an idea
And I know its time has come

It was no longer just my story, but the story of so many others like me. The story of struggle, the story of pain, loss, resilience, and strength. The story that every advocate is fighting for—justice, equality, and life.

If I was younger, I would use my voice not just to sing, but to share a message. Not just to perform, but to connect. Not just to entertain, but to inspire action. I cannot turn back time, but I know that there is still time.

The power of the youth towards climate action will not foster if they are not given opportunities to be heard and be seen.


The do’s and don’ts


The power of the youth to lead and influence climate action is critical not only in their communities but across the globe. More and more youth climate advocates are given opportunities to make an impact and become beacons of hope for the future.

At the core of climate action is education. In line with our pursuit to provide opportunities for young climate advocates to deepen their understanding of climate science, policy, and governance, we introduced Klima Eskwela to Palawan State University. 

Klima Eskwela is Climate Reality Philippines’ knowledge exchange program that provides opportunities for young climate advocates and other stakeholders to deepen and broaden their understanding of climate science, policy, and governance.

With education comes action, and here are some of the commitments shared by our participants during the two-day session.

“I commit to engage more in different environmental activities and advocacies such as reducing the use of single-use plastic to improve ecological balance and environmental integrity to achieve sustainable development.”

“I will make myself available when it comes to research, especially when it talks about carbon sequestration and plastic pollution. I will be part of the solution where I will promote non-single use plastic.”

“I will be more responsible for the things I use and consume through an eco-friendly lifestyle, healthy living, participate in community programs related to the environment, awareness on the things I use, and small actions like proper segregation of waste.”

“As Environmental Science students, we would like to be catalysts in solidifying the ban on single-use plastics, and [promoting] sustainability in our campus by pushing and supporting such policies, and also by collaborating with different organizations to further [this] cause. It would also be of great help if we were to advocate and spread awareness about the topics of single-use plastics and their effects. I have observed plastic pollution around the campus despite many trash bins, so it’s crucial to really fulfill such advocacies. Lastly, it would be most effective if we were to showcase such commitment ourselves.”

“To someone who cares about the environment and recognizes their role in the ongoing pollution and the climate change crisis, I want to be more responsible with the things that I do. I will try to involve myself with green movements, make sure that I am recycling my waste well, and share what I know with other people as well. Small things that may work big time.”

“As a student, I have suggestions about the problems that we are facing today. We all need discipline even in the little things and be aware of its impact. We must be responsible and think not just for ourselves.”

“As a member of my community, I pledge to protect my environment, promote and advocate for sustainable development. To conform with the laws for the environment, and its principles. And to be at all times be a good citizen who long for global betterment. Make use of my knowledge to reach others and widen the awareness about environmental problems”

The highs and lows 

As we look back on the past quarter, we look back at the different opportunities we have engaged with Climate Reality Leaders and climate advocates, particularly the youth.

Last May, we partnered with the Philippine Science High School Cordillera Administrative Region Campus for the Pebble Poem Workshop and the  community screening of the documentary film “Delikado” in celebration of their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) week. It’s always inspiring to see the passion of the youth as they share their stories and forge their path towards becoming climate advocates.

We also completed a two-day Virtual Youth Summit for Climate in partnership with the Rotary Club of Makati San Lorenzo and the Rotary Club of Tai Po. The event provided aspiring climate advocates an opportunity to learn from the experts in the field of clean and just energy transition, sustainable urban mobility, zero waste practices and solutions, and food security. 

Lastly, we conducted the Luzon leg of the in-person sessions of REaltalk: A Movement Building Workshop on Renewable Energy in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Organized in partnership with AktivAsia Philippines, the workshop produced 29 campaigners set to engage public and private schools, offices, companies, and other entities to switch to renewable energy through the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP).

We would love to hear from you! Do you have any climate questions but are too afraid to ask, or maybe a comment on our monthly column, just email at   



Aimee is the Luzon Coordinator of The Climate Reality Project Philippines. She is a human resources professional with over 10 years of corporate work experience in different local and multinational industries. With her experience in organizational development, training and employee engagement, Aimee is deeply passionate about promoting learning and wellbeing. She is a Climate Reality Leader having joined the 2020 Global training which solidified her inner passion for community work and service. Being an advocate for the environment, she co-founded RE-Store MNL, a small shop promoting refill and reuse in Paranaque City. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences at the University of the Philippines Baguio.


Ang Kalusunan or the “Northern Part” is a space that aims to amplify the climate stories and initiatives of the more than 1,200 Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders in Luzon.

It is one of the regular columns launched by The Climate Reality Project Philippines to elevate the climate discourse and strengthen climate action across all regions in the Philippines.