[Press Release] PNOY: make your 4 minutes speech on climate meaningful and just -PMCJ

PNOY: make your 4 minutes speech on climate meaningful and just

Continuing the tradition of sending someone off to abroad, but with a twist, groups led by Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) marched to Malacanang to physically express their sentiments to PNoy’s policy on climate change.

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Members from PMCJ dramatized the messages by putting their demands inside traditional Filipino bayongs (bags) messages that should be considered by PNoy before he leaves.

The President will be leaving the country on September 13 for a five-nation trip to Europe and the United States. In the US, PNoy will attend the UN Climate Summit in New York on the 23rd of September.

The UN Climate Summit is an event hosted by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to engage world leaders – from government, finance, business, and civil society – and to advance climate action and ambition to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience. US President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron are also expected to attend the summit.

Our Resiliency Have Limits

Sources from Malacanang revealed that PNoy’s speech, the length of which will only be for four minutes, will focus on the resiliency of the Filipinos.

“The resiliency of Filipinos is indeed strong, but it has limits. We can only take so much climate impacts. We need to address the source of the climate crisis. He must utilize this venue to make it clear to developed countries that they are accountable for the climate calamities that we are experiencing and demand from these countries to commit to a drastic and ambitious cut in their emissions.” said Gerry Arances, national coordinator of PMCJ.

He added, “The Philippines’ contribution to global GHG emissions is small compared to those of the developed countries, yet we suffer the most from the impacts of a changing climate. This gives us the moral ground and the right to make serious and ambitious demands.”

Messages inside the bayong that reflect the peoples demand are as follows:

1. We demand immediate, drastic cuts of global GHG emissions
this will not happen without banning new fossil fuel project and stopping the excessive consumption of energy by elites and corporations. All countries must live within a carbon budget that limits global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius and this budget must be shared equitably. This means those who bear the greatest historical responsibility for climate change and in the process amassed wealth — must assume the proportional burden of emissions reductions.
2. We demand an end to public subsidies for private fossil fuel corporations and the mobilization of public finance for swift and just transition to low carbon economies. This includes the fulfillment of the obligations of developed countries under the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change to provide public finance for developing countries for mitigation.
3. We demand 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.
4. We demand an end to false solutions, the further expansion of carbon markets, and corporate domination of the climate negotiations.

Incoherent Climate Policies

“Representing our country in the climate summit, PNoy must not only address the world but his people as well. He must demand the main perpetrators on climate to be held accountable while answering the demand of his people for real solutions in our country,” said James Mathew Miraflor, Vice President of Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC).

“Even if we have landmark policies on climate change, renewable energy and climate finance, our country is still helpless towardss major calamities and climate impacts. His policies remains incoherent to new climate realities and promotes a business as usual approach in managing our resources”, said Miraflor.

According to the latest data of PMCJ, twenty-six (26) new coal plant projects comprising of forty-five (45) coal boilers have been approved and are expected to go online by 2020 even if we have the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. On national climate policy, the Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change of 2009 have yet to provide Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP), a plan crucial in lessening risk to climate impacts in the ground. The Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of the Peoples Survival Fund (PSF) is still not finalized while the Mining Act of 1995 still exists that allows large-scale mining and export oriented management of natural resources.

The initial plan of the government for Yolanda called Reconstruction Assistance for Yolanda (RAY) excluded the people in participating in the rehabilitation process in affected areas and even allowed big private corporations to become ‘development sponsors’. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) banks further pushed the country into further indebtedness despite them being accountable in for big investment on dirty energy globally

To top it off, PMCJ remains hopeful but cautious towards PNoy’s trip to the climate summit.

“The President is now at the crossroads of making a legacy in the issue of climate change. Through this mere 4 minute speech, he can choose to reflect the people’s demands and aspiration or he could choose to be doomed by singing praises to the culprits of climate change.” Arances concluded.

PRESS RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

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