[Press Release] US, The Earth’s clock is ticking! We are charging you and we want payment! -PMCJ

US, The Earth’s clock is ticking! We are charging you and we want payment!

Photo by PMCJ

Photo by PMCJ

Days after bearing the brunt of the yet another super typhoon – Typhoon Mario – that flooded many parts of Luzon, members of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) rallied in front of the US Embassy and the EU office in Manila, Philippines to demand to major Greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters like the U.S. government and other high emitting countries like the European Union for payment through deep, drastic, and ambitious cuts in their GHG emissions and provision of reparations for their climate debt.

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The action led by the PMCJ today was  in solidarity with the global actions dubbed as  Peoples Climate March in the lead up to the 23rd of September, when world leaders gather in New York City for the United Nations Climate Summit or what is now known as the Ban Ki Moon Summit. The opening of the summit will be an avalanche of speeches coming from heads of states unveiling their national plans of action and ambition announcements for climate. The People’s Climate March- is the largest climate march in history – a mobilization of hundreds  of thousands of people in New York City and in different countries across the globe.

“We, climate justice activists and peoples from the most climate-affected communities, do not hope and pray for promises and charity from these developed countries. We demand payment because they are the ones mainly responsible for the crisis with all their green-house-gas pollution since the industrial revolution.” asserted Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice.

Almost ninety percent of the GHG emissions are from the unbridled profit-making activities of these overly-consuming developed countries, led by the US and the EU, in the span of one hundred years. The US and EU alone emitted 58% of the total carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere from 1900 to 1999.

“We cannot just let them get away with it. Multi-national corporations and their elites have ‘enriched’ themselves at the expense of our climate and the world’s people. The US and EU’s excessive GHG emissions must stop now. The emissions cuts must be deep and drastic or else we will not survive the rising temperature.” Arances further exclaimed.

PMCJ asserts that the much-needed ambitious emissions cut target should start with the radical phase out of dirty and harmful energy like coal, oil and gas. Scientists across the globe have pointed out that 80% of the known fossil fuel energy should be left underground in order to avert a1.5 degrees increase in global temperatures.

PMCJ also demands the U.S. and EU to pay reparations through financing and technology transfer. These financing would lead countries such as the Philippines to a comprehensive energy transformation.

”The Earth could no longer bear the increasing GHG emissions. It is time to reject dirty and harmful energy. We urgently need an energy transformation fueled by renewable energy (RE).”, explained Atty Aaron Pedrosa, Secretary-General of SANLAKAS, who  also headsthe Energy Working Group of PMCJ.

The Philippines has the capacity for such a radical shift with around 200,000 MW RE potential and a law on renewable energy in place.

“TheUS and other developed countries must provide the necessary climate finance for the Philippines and other developing countries to undergo such a transition. This is a recognition not only of their historical responsibility but the commitments they have acceded totwenty years ago.” Pedrosa added.

For PMCJ, it is urgent that these climate solutions be rolled-out immediately because every year the country suffers the impacts of climate change and it only gets worse. Ten months after Typhoon Yolanda struck the country, the Philippines is nowhere near recovery and rehabilitation. Experiences from these climate impacts for the past 5 years only showthe urgency of much-needed adaptation measures and climate finance.

James Matthew Miraflor, Vice-Presidentof Freedom from Debt Coalition who also joined the action explained that “this is the very reason why climate justice activists demand for reparations for financing and technology transfer. Funds need to come in for resilience-building but more so for the immediate implementation of appropriate adaptation programs.”

“As our experience brought by Typhoon Yolanda, these climate funds is a matter of life and death.” Miraflor added.

Ten months after Typhoon Yolanda struck the country, , thousands are still living in tents with no adequate rehabilitation plan in place. And the country is now entering into yet another deadly quarter of the year where super typhoons have been the main feature for the past 5 years.

In Leyte and Samar, a simultaneous climate walk and program will take place in five (5) places – Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte, Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) in Tacloban City, in Brgy. 88 and 89 famously called Anibong in Tacloban City, in Mc. Arthur, Leyte, and in Manicani Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar. These actions were organized by several organizations led by PMCJ Eastern Visayas Chapter, Alyansa Tigal Mina, Unlad and Save Manicani Movement.

“What the successful Peoples Climate March have shown to the world is that we can do it. System change not climate change! We demand climate justice now!” Arances concluded.

PMCJ, is part of a growing global movement fighting for climate justice and system change that has shown force in the recent Peoples Climate March.

Press Release
September 23, 2014

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