[Press Release] “Yes, we don’t wait, we act now but we demand for major emitters to pay” – PMCJ

“Yes, we don’t wait, we act now but we demand for major emitters to pay” – PMCJ

Photo by PMCJ

Photo by PMCJ

Response to Aquino’s 4-minute speech at the UN Climate Summit

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) likened the four minute speech of PNoy in the UN Climate Summit as the movie titled, “tinimbang ka ngunit kulang (weighed but found wanting).”


In response to the urgency of the climate crisis, it is true that everyone should act now without waiting for others to act but along with it, vulnerable countries should demand what is long due to them.

“Justice delayed is justice denied to those millions of people and communities, who, despite of their neglible contribution to the climate crisis bears the brunt of the climate impacts. President Aquino should have demanded developed countries to commit under their obligations to the United Nation Convention for ambitious, deep and drastic emissions cuts. The wrong framework is letting major emitters to continue polluting and just pledge less cuts. Aquino owes it to his kababayans to demand on their behalf. ” Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of PMCJ said.

Also in his speech PNoy claimed that the Philippines are continuing steps towards low emission development strategy and are transitioning to less traditional technologies. He also mentioned about policies being in place such as the the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

“If this is really a genuine plan, then how come the P-Noy government has approved twenty-six (26) new coal plant projects comprising of forty-five (45) coal plants and they are expected to go online by 2020? This is 10,000MW more electricity from coal and will lock the country more to coal dependence for the next 25-50 years which will increase absurdly to 80-90% of coal in the country’s energy and power mix.” Arances exclaimed.

Arances added that “Policies that would mitigate risks to climate impacts on the ground such as 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. Isn’t this is the exact opposite of the “low emission development strategy” that P-Noy is claiming in his speech. Yes, we don’t wait but we should act accordingly and appropriately to what the people truly needs and not what the corporations want!” Arances emphasized.

PNoy said that his government is not waiting but maximizing resources through harnessing weather forecasting technologies made available, developing hazard-mapping, implementing a re-greening program, tagging public expenditures on climate and engaging sectors on disaster risk financing and insurance policy framework.

“While these policies and actions are commendable, these are not enough considering what the people and communities have went through disaster after disaster. He failed in this arena miserably. There is no harmonize plan on rehabilitation and appropriate adaptation measures to speak of in all climate-affected areas not just in Yolanda. People’s participation is also missing in the picture. The government should start resilience-building and at the same time plan the rehabilitation together with the people before another storm hits us. We also call government to veer away from climate smart false solutions that corporations are peddling to us. What we need is to mobilize public finances here through PSF and demand more financing including technology transfer from developed countries. It is their obligation to pay us,” Arances said.

President Aquino in his speech ended with “…Let the first concrete commitment we make be a change in mindset. From one of over-arguing over the division of work to one that is doing the maximum we can. Always asking what more we can do.”

“President Aquino still has two years to correct the path and make the necessary change of mindset. A change that will mean veering away from coal and fossil fuel addiction of his administration, coupled with a people and ecologically-centric disaster risk reduction & management plan, adaptation & rehabilitation plans, including his development plans.” Arances added.

“This has to go hand in hand with the move to compel developed countries to fulfil their commitments and obligations for emissions cuts and climate finance for adaption needs of vulnerable countries and communities, and for a radical change of production and consumption of energy and commodities especially by corporations and elites.” Arances concluded.

PMCJ asserts that P-Noy should now “walk his talk” after his speech in the climate summit.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2014

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