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8 things you need to know: Meet Renee Karunungan

By January 29, 2016 No Comments

Renee profile photo

Meet Renee. 

She’s a writer. A campaigner. And a lot of fun.

Renee first applied to be part of the Paris Climate Tracker team in March 2015, and has impressed us so much, that we had to make her part of the full-time team this year.

After an amazing year as a Climate Tracker, publishing over 50 articles throughout the year, Renee travelled to UN climate negotiations in Bonn and Paris last year. That’s where she truly came into her own, and proved to us that she had to be part of the team.

If you haven’t met her yet, here are 8 things you need to know about Renee:

In fact the reason she first applied to the Climate Tracker program was because she “wanted to contribute to educating the public about climate change”. And she definitely did so.

Last year she was featured in some of the biggest newspapers across Asia. This year, she isn’t holding back and alerady wrote this scathing letter to her President that has been shared over 3000 times.  

When I asked her what the highlight of 2015, she said conclusively:

“Definitely going to the negotiations and getting to know negotiators from the Philippines. It made me understand the negotiations from the inside”.


A Filipino dish called sinigang. It’s sour soup with vegetables and I best like it with shrimps. When I first heard it, it was admittedly hard for me to believe it doesn’t include rice, but she later reassured “I eat sinigang with rice. DUH!”

“I’ve been involved in a lot of things. I think joining the Climate Walk for 500 kilometers last 2014 was amazing. I met a lot of people during the walk who live in climate vulnerable areas. They shared their stories with me and I wrote about them in different publications.”

“I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Sounds a bit cheesy, but true.”

If you don’t know this song. Childhood = not complete 😉

“The Philippines has always been a poster child for climate change, with all the impacts we have been experiencing so climate change has always been personal to me. But I’m tired of being seen as someone people should always give charity to and take pity on. More than being seen as victims of climate change impacts, I also want us to be seen as a people who have solutions to climate change.”

In fact, when I asked her what song she would play if Aliens invaded, she said: “I wanna hold your hand” – The Beatles

“A personal goal is to learn how to swim. It sounds such a small goal for a lot of people but it’s a big deal for me. It means confronting one of my biggest fears…and trusting myself.”

Already 2015 has been a year of big changes. We have changed from Adopt a Negotiator to Climate Tracker , and now we have even made a few big staff changes. We couldn’t be happier to take on the talented Filipina, Renee Karunungan who has already been doing wonders for our team in 2015, and now is part of the family. 

If you want to hear more from Renee and the rest of the team, subscribe to the weekly newsletter she is curating right now:

Chris Wright

About Chris Wright

Co-founder and Director of Climate Tracker. We’ve inspired 8000+ journalists to report on Climate Change. Based in Borneo. Trail Running convert. Learning Python.

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