Green group urges Duterte to declare climate emergency

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December 9, 2019

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GREENPEACE has launched an online petition asking President Rodrigo Duterte for a Climate Emergency Declaration following the report citing Philippines as the second most affected by climate change in 2018.

Citing the 15th Edition of the Global Climate Risk Index released earlier by an environmental watchdog, the Greenpeace said the Philippines also ranked fourth among the long-term climate-impacted countries (1999-2018).

Speaking from Madrid, Yeb Saño, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said: “The writing on the wall is clear: the Philippines is in a climate emergency. We have been in a state of climate emergency for decades now, and the situation is not getting any better–and it will not get any better unless the world leaders gathering for the COP25 in Madrid show concrete commitments towards the promises they made in Paris. We also call on the Philippine government to formally acknowledge this emergency situation and act with the utmost urgency and defend the interests of its people in the face of climate injustice.”

“We need urgent action if we are to address the root causes of the climate crisis and achieve climate justice for our people,” said Saño adding, “This would only be possible if tackling climate change and its impacts on the lives of Filipino people is given top priority by government and placed at the center of policy- and decision-making on local and national levels.

He said Greenpeace is therefore calling on Duterte to issue a Climate Emergency Declaration and, as an immediate next step, hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the harms to Filipino people brought on by their activities that are driving the climate crisis.

He added:“In recognition of this climate emergency, the Philippine government should lead the demand for industrialized nations to ratchet up their emissions reduction ambitions in order to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

“Our own government must also ensure the country’s rapid and just transition to a climate-friendly development through a massive uptake of renewable energy solutions, the phase-out of coal-fired power plants and a stop to all coal and fossil fuels expansion,” he said.

Climate emergency

After Typhoon Tisoy ravaged Southern Luzon early this week, sudden massive flooding from non-stop rains is now sweeping Northern Philippines, devastating cities and municipalities across Tugegarao, Isabela and Cagayan, some of which are just recovering from similar floods early last month.

Greenpeace Philippines Country Director Lea Guerrero said: “These two disasters that have happened in just one week highlight the Philippines’ extreme vulnerability to severe weather and its impacts. Greenpeace is repeating its call for the Philippine government to declare a climate emergency and hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their role in driving climate change.”

Guerrero: “Filipinos are constantly under threat from extreme rainfall, storm surges, flash floods, lahar flow and landslides. For every disaster we count our dead loved ones, displaced families and destroyed crops and livelihoods. But confronting the root of the climate crisis we are suffering–the irresponsibility of fossil fuel corporations–is still not on the table.”

She said: “President Duterte must issue a climate emergency declaration in order to mobilize the urgent action needed to address this crisis. As a first step, the Philippine government must hold accountable fossil fuel companies who have contributed the most to this climate crisis. These carbon majors include some of the world’s largest and richest companies, such as Shell, BP and ExxonMobil, who continue to expand their harmful operations at the expense of communities and future generations. It is time that they are held responsible for what they have done.”

President Duterte’s Climate Emergency Declaration must:

• Put climate urgency at the centre of all policy decision-making from a local to national level.
• Hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their role in driving climate change and inflicting harm on the Filipino people.
• Demand other countries, particularly industrialized nations, to enhance their emissions reduction ambitions in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s aim to limit global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius.
• Ensure the Philippines’ rapid and just transition to a low-carbon pathway through a massive uptake of renewable energy solutions.
• Phase-out coal, and stop all plans for future coal and fossil fuel investments

The call coincides with the start of the UN climate talks in Madrid, and ahead of an expected announcement by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines following its investigation into the responsibility of 47 fossil fuel corporations for human rights impacts resulting from climate change.

Open letter

The Philippines has been in a climate emergency for decades now — with millions across the country left to suffer the catastrophic effects of extreme weather, made stronger and more deadly by climate change.

Year after year, Filipinos are identified among the most impacted globally by this crisis, an emergency situation made worse by the big polluters who have lied and covered up about their contribution, protecting their businesses and profits.

Everyday Filipinos have been leading the way in exposing the big fossil fuel corporations most responsible for the emissions heating up the planet, but now it’s time for our government to formally acknowledge this urgent crisis and declare a climate emergency.
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To sign the petition online, log on to: act.gp/climateemergencyph. source: greenpeace.org


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