[Press Release] Filipino Groups Demand Real Action for Climate Justice to the UNFCCC COP19 -PMCJ

Filipino Groups Demand Real Action for Climate Justice to the UNFCCC COP19
Sent Filipino Communique to the Conference of Parties

Photo extracted from Herbert Docena FB

Photo extracted from Herbert Docena FB

Filipino groups still dealing with the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda, conveyed their outrage that UN negotiations on climate change are still failing to arrive at any meaningful outcome, in a communique from the Philippine movements and civil society organizations.

The release came as lead negotiator of the Philipines Yeb Sano accepted a petititon with over 600,000 signatures from online campaign group Avaaz calling for devleoped countries to increase their climate controls, honour their finance promises and adopt a loss and damage mechanism to deal with climate impacts like Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

“This is a time of outpouring of support and solidarity from all around the world. We are touched and strengthened and grateful. But our people need more than solidarity – we demand climate justice.” Said Lidy Nacpil, National Convenor of Phillipine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) and the Coordinator of Jubilee South – Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.

“Our people are suffering the terrible impacts of a climate crisis they had no part in causing, while those most responsible refuse to take the actions necessary to effectively address climate change – its causes and its consequences.” .” Said Nacpil

“Instead, we see the continued excessive consumption of energy by elites and corporations, the expansion of fossil fuel projects the aggressive promotion of false solutions, and the drive for profit-seeking investments in “Climate” projects and carbon markets.” She added.

“This is a most painful and difficult time for the people of the Philippines. Not only for those among us who have lost loved ones and homes, staying in crowded ‘shelters’ with little food, or still waiting to be rescued, living with great uncertainty about our immediate future.” said Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)

“It is painful even for those of us who were much less affected by Typhoon Yolanda but grieve with our relatives, our friends, our colleagues, with entire communities, towns, cities and islands for the untold loss and destruction.” said Arances, of the devastation that his country has experienced.

The typhoon that is Yolanda/Haiyan may be the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall in recorded history – but it was not the first of its terrible kind nor will it be the last. The country have experienced the 4th super-typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2013. In 2012 it had Habagat in Luzon and Typhoon Pablo in Southern Mindanao; in 2011 it had Typhoon Sendong in Northern Mindanao; in 2010 it was Typhoon Pepeng in Central Luzon, and in 2009 it was Typhoon Ondoy devastating MetroManila.

“Every year, extreme weather events hitting the Philippines are increasing in number and magnitude.” Arances added.

The groups are demanding climate justice to the government representatives gathered here in Warsaw.
The Philippines, despite its low contribution to the historical global greenhouse gas emissions, which is pegged at 0.3%, is one of the most vulnerable countries around the world for the past ten years.

Key demands of the groups included:

· The fulfillment of obligations to provide finance and technology needed by developing countries like the Philippines for adaptation and building resilience. We demand reparations for inescapable losses and damage from the onslaughts of the climate crisis.

· An end to false solutions, the further expansion of carbon markets, and corporate domination of the climate negotiations.

Since the opening of the Convention when Commissioner Yeb Sano announced that he will fast in solidarity of his brothers and sisters that have been devastated by Typhoon Hainan/Yolanda, fasting in support of the Philippines and demanding climate justice are spreading like wildfire here inside the UN talks and gathering and in almost all countries around the globe, including the Philippines.

“This year we continue our support, in all the ways we can, including the solidarity fast. We do it to show the resilient people of the Philippines that we are still standing with them, and to send a message to our own government that we will never accept an outcome that is not based on equity and climate justice. An outcome in Warsaw with weaker controls than when we started is not acceptable.” Said Silje Lundberg, of Friends of the Earth Norway, who has been fasting for the past two weeks.

The Philippine Communique outlines clearly what the Filipino people, and in solidarity of the rest of humanity, needs from the representatives of governments in the climate convention here in Warsaw, “We demand immediate, drastic cuts of global GHG emissions, which will not happen without banning new fossil fuel projects and stopping the excessive consumption of energy by elites and corporations. Thus it is imperative to demand an end to public subsidies for private fossil fuel corporations and mobilization of public finance for swift and just transition to low carbon economies. “

Communique went on to demand that “These demands are greatly connected to the fulfilment of obligations to provide finance and technology needed by developing countries like the Philippines for adaptation and building resilience, and at the same time reparations for the inescapable losses and damage from the onslaughts of the climate crisis.”

The Philippine movements and civil society organizations also reiterated their stand against false solutions, the further expansion of carbon markets, and corporate domination of the climate negotiations.

Three Filipino civil society delegates, Gerry Arances, Claire Miranda and Herbert Docena, will commence today their fasting in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Filipinos from all walks of lif, and different parts in the Philippines have already commenced a 6-day fasting last Sunday until the end of the COP19 on November 22 to put pressure to the parties to have a more ambitious targets on emissions cuts, setting up of a loss and damage mechanism, and climate finance for adaptation and mitigation of developing countries.

“Yes, we are a resilient people. We are also a people that know how to persevere and fight hard for justice.“ Nacpil concluded.

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