Miss Earth tells Trump, world leaders: Climate change is real
You cannot deny what is real and happening.
This was the message of Miss Earth 2016 Katherine Espin of Ecuador when asked about world leaders, particularly US President Donald Trump, who once refused to acknowledge the global environmental problem of climate change.
In a one-on-one interview, Espin said her advocacy as reigning Miss Earth will focus on addressing climate change, which she called as the “most important environmental issue we have right now in the planet.”
“I believe that people’s interests play a hand in this problem, because we are talking about investments and businesses and everyone will have his own opinion based on his own personal interest,” Espin told INQUIRER.net
“So if leaders from the world are denying the problem, I really have to be against them because we do have a problem. We are suffering from climate change and so many people are losing their homes and livelihood,” she added.
The electoral victory of Trump, who has called global warming a “hoax,” raised serious questions on the fate of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, which seeks to reduce emission of greenhouse gases and help vulnerable countries adapt to the impact of climate change. In the campaign trail, Trump said he would “cancel” the Paris agreement and threatened to withdraw American tax dollars from global warming programs of the United Nations.
Environmentalists also expressed alarm over the removal of any references to climate change in the White House website, one of the first acts of the Trump administration upon taking office.
For her part, Espin vowed to stand her ground and tell world leaders that climate change is true and not just a figment of imagination, as evident in the impact of disasters in vulnerable countries. The second Miss Earth from Ecuador said she and other candidates were able to visit typhoon-affected families in Isabela and see “how hard it was for them.”
“In some way, our generation like now is not like before so we have to compare. It’s a matter of looking back and seeing where we are right now in terms of climate change. We can’t deny what’s true and what’s in there. If we actually see people denying, it’s just about personal interest. That’s it. But me as Miss Earth, I can’t deny it and I have to tell the truth,” Espin added.
Aside from raising climate change awareness, the South American beauty said she would also promote ecotourism among big companies and investors and the practice of the five environmental Rs–reuse, reduce, recycle, rethink and respect.
“My message is actually work enable to spread a positive message for people to live in a positive way for the environment and also be an example to young women that it’s not about being beautiful and wearing your physical appearance. It’s about enriching yourself with knowledge and being independent and professional woman,” she added./rga
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