PMCJ: French climate loan ‘unjust’ and unacceptable’. Reparations not loans!
Manila, Philippines – Climate Justice activists denounced the recent offer of France President Hollande to the Philippines of pushing 50 million Euros ($56.6 million) for the Philippines, stating that it is unacceptable and raised issued concerning about the Manila Declaration on Climate Change.
During his visit to the Philippines, President Hollande peddled 50 million Euros, or $56 million in loans, through the French Development Agency in order to fund disaster prevention projects.
“It is the obligation of France to provide climate finance to the Philippines, but it should not be in the form of loans. It should be unconditional climate funds for the Philippines to fulfil their obligation under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Chage (UNFCCC) and as payment for reparations to the Filipinos affected by the climate crisis,” said Gerry Arances, national coordinator of PMCJ.
“This is totally unacceptable!” Arances asserted on loans instead of grants from France.
France is a signatory of the UNFCCC that compels developed countries to provide finance to developing countries to address adaptation needs and to increase capacity in dealing with climate change, among many others.
“As a survivor of Yolanda, the strongest typhoon to landfall caused by climate change, the loan is unjust because it shows that France is even willing to profit from us instead of being accountable to the climate crisis by paying for our adaptation, losses and damages, as well as resiliency needs,” said Professor Toto Bulayog, PMCJ Eastern Visayas.
Climate debt is debt owed by rich countries like France to developing countries for largely contributing to the climate crisis, which according to PMCJ must be paid for adaptation, aside from their responsibility to radically reduce their emissions and provide funds for low-carbon and renewable energy transformation in developing countries.
“France must provide reparations for the loss and damages we experienced due to the climate crisis. France must pay their climate debt to us and not make a business out of us being climate vulnerables.” Arances further asserted.
From previous statements during the visit of president Hollande, PMCJ also demanded that France and other developed countries commit to ambitious emission reductions, to stop investments on coal immediately and other forms of dirty energy, and to sufficiently finance the adaptation needs of developing countries, like the Philippines, and mitigation actions with particularly emphasis on energy transformation towards renewable energy systems for peoples and communities..
“ We considers this as a miniscule repayment for the climate debt and repayment for the immense loss and damages suffered by the Philippines from the climate disasters that Annex 1 countries like France, EU, the US and rich industrialized countries have brought to bear on the world, and mostly on the vulnerable countries and peoples of the south,” Sammy Gamboa said of Freedom from Debt Coaition (FDC) .
According to FDC, In 2007, France claimed US $115 billion foreign bilateral outstanding loans , from the Philippine national government,together with other four members of the G8 (the world’s richest economies) member-countries such as Japan (US$5.3 billion) United States (US$354 million ), France (US$115 billion, Top 4), and Canada (US$60 billion).
“We will also hold the Aquino government accountable not only for its complicity in this anti-people deal, but for its other unjust economic policies that worsen poverty, hunger and inequality in the country,” Gamboa warned.
March 10, 2015
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