Thousands of cyclists and advocates to ride for survival on the B.I.G. RIDE and call on APEC leaders to integrate bikes in sustainable solutions to transportation and climate change
Manila, Philippines — Thousands of cyclists gather for the 16th Tour of the Fireflies to promote bicycles as part of a long-term solution to traffic congestion, mass transportation, air and noise pollution, and climate change.
The 16th Tour of the Fireflies is organized by the Firefly Brigade, a non-profit organization that promotes the use of bicycle for clean air and sustainable communities. Dubbed as The B.I.G. Ride – Bicycles InteGral to Mobility Solutions, the tour will be held on November 15, days before world leaders converge in Manila for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
“Together with bicyclists from all over the Philippines, the 16th Tour of the Fireflies 2015 calls the attention of the region’s leaders to urgent action to the grave consequences of Climate Change on vulnerable economies and its people,” Firefly Brigade President, Jack Yabut said.
“We urge them to Integrate Non Motorized Transportation (NMT) in Effective and Sustainable Transportation (SusTran) Plans. The ToF B.I.G. Ride emphasizes that Biking is Good,” he added.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the century, affecting vulnerable nations such as the Philippines. With impacts such as extreme weather events and rising sea levels, the Philippines has been considered as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
This 2015, the yearly conference of parties (COP), under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will also meet in Paris and is expected to come up with a climate agreement among all nations that will solve the climate crisis.
According to Oxfam in the Philippines’ Policy and Campaigns manager Shubert Ciencia,“The Philippines was the country most affected by extreme weather events in 2013 according to Germanwatch. We must pressure world leaders meeting at the Paris climate summit this December to provide us with funds to cope with floods, typhoons and droughts. We ask everyone to sign our petition campaign #TraysikelToParis, and make sure the voices of the people being hurt by climate change are heard in Paris.” Oxfam is one of the organizations supporting The 16th Tour of the Fireflies: The B.I.G. Ride. They will be gathering signatures during the ride to be presented to the leaders of ASEAN so they in turn can pressure other world leaders to give support to developing nations adapt to climate change.
The Philippines, being a signatory to the UNFCCC, submitted a commitment to the United Nations called the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). The INDC is every country’s contribution to solving the climate crisis. The Philippines, in its INDC, committed to 70% conditional mitigation of carbon emissions by 2030 based on a business as usual model.
Transportation contributes a lot to the Philippines carbon emissions. According to the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change, the energy sector, including transportation, is the largest contributor to the Philippines’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The largest source of GHG emissions is transport at 30 percent. It accounts for 14.7% of the Philippines’ total GHG emissions.
“For us to achieve our commitments to the UN, many things have to be changed. Our transport system needs to become sustainable. We have to rely less on fossil fuels. This means we have to reduce our use of cars and shift to more sustainable ways like cycling,” said Nityalila Saulo, Climate Revolution Campaigner of Dakila.
“We are a nation of heroes, and by heroes we mean people who refuse to suffer from another Yolanda, from the burden of the traffic in EDSA, from catastrophic climate change. We need to change the way we live and the way the system works. If we are serious in reaching our targets, we need to start changing the whole system we’ve built around fossil fuel.” Saulo added.
The 16th Tour of the Fireflies: The. B.I.G. Ride will be a simultaneous ride happening in various cities including Bacolod and 6 other towns and cities in Negros Occidental, Catarman, Northern Samar, Calbayog City, Western Samar, Catbalogan City, Western Samar, Negros Occidental, Dumaguete City, Sorsogon, Davao City, and Iloilo City. A concert performance shall follow after the ride featuring Up Dharma Down, Ebe Dancel and Tropical Deppression.
For more info, visit http://www.fireflybrigade.org
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12 November 2015
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