At COP 21: ‘Twelve points of climate action’ demanded from Aquino

November 26, 2015

Green groups to join ‘Global People’s Climate March’ to call for urgent action on the crisis of climate change

By Kalikasan PNE

Peoples Climate March 2014 in the Philippines.

People’s Climate March 2014 in the Philippines. Image from Kalikasan PNE

MANILA, PHILIPPINES—The environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) announced its participation in the Global People’s Climate March on November 29, where they said they will ‘send-off’ the Philippine government’s delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) with 12 climate action demands to PH president Noynoy Aquino.

“Before Pres. Aquino leaves for Paris, he should officially adopt the demand for a comprehensive, equitable, and legally-binding climate protocol that obliges top polluter countries such as US and China to drastically cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Aquino should stop being a sycophant to these polluter and plunderer countries by asserting common but differentiated responsibilities among rich and poor countries in reducing carbon emissions, and by demanding unconditional aid and reparations from the advanced capitalist countries that have rendered nations such as the Philippines as among the most vulnerable to climate impacts,” said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

The green group said this was one of the urgent climate action points outlined in the Philippine People’s Climate Platform (PPCP), a twelve-point agenda that aims to confront the worsening climate crisis launched by various groups prior to the second anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan).

‘Yolanda’ and other failures
“Aquino’s continuing failure to address worsening climate disruption in his own backyard has undermined the Philippines’ position in the climate talks. This is one of the reasons we are being forced to commit to unrealistic emissions cuts while polluter countries are skirting their responsibilities to commit to bigger, bolder emissions cuts and their obligations to provide financial, technological, and policy aid to vulnerable countries,” lamented Dulce.

Dulce referred to the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) scheme, where commitments to cut GHG emissions are spread across all countries and are simply voluntary. Inappropriately high GHG cuts are forced on underdeveloped countries like the Philippines, hampering their rights to develop and uplift their people from poverty, while the voluntary scheme allowed developed nations to target below their needed GHG cuts.

“It does not help that Aquino continues to blatantly lie to the international community that the Philippines is fast becoming resilient to climate impacts post-Typhoon Yolanda, setting the precedent for polluter countries to commit less to climate financing and reparations. Homelessness, poverty, and displacement persists in Yolanda-affected communities a full two years after its landfall, where at least three powerful but underreported typhoons, Ruby and Seniang in 2014, caused further damages to communities especially in Eastern Visayas,” Dulce explained.

Leaders of People Surge, the largest alliance of disaster survivors in Eastern Visayas, will join the Kalikasan contingent to the People’s Climate March led by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila to raise these concerns.

“Aquino still refuses to visit Yolanda Ground Zero in Tacloban City on Yolanda’s second anniversary, opting instead to be at a wedding of a billionaire’s son instead of being in solidarity with the plight of Yolanda survivors. At Paris, Aquino just might continue this trend and kowtow to the interests of big polluter countries. Filipino activists will journey to Paris to join the international community in vigilantly demanding from Aquino and the rest of the world leaders that the survival of our people is non-negotiable,” ended Dulce.

Aside from calling for a just greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation scheme, the PPCP calls for widespread system change in the country, including the reversal of destructive globalization policies, prioritization of a people-centered climate adaptation program, and the creation of a mechanism to exact justice from developed nations for the loss and damages we have incurred due to climate change.

Kalikasan also announced that it will call for a walk and bike run for climate justice on December 13, as COP 21 closes, to ensure that the voice of the Filipino people will have the last say on the climate negotiations.###