Ahead of the Paris
summit, Filipinos join the Global Climate March to demand climate justice
MANILA, 28 November 2015 – Around 10,000 advocates representing
climate-impacted communities, religious groups, youth, labor unions,
anti-coal and renewable energy campaigners, and other concerned citizens
took to the streets to join the Global Climate March on the weekend before
the Paris talks begin.
The Filipino marchers set out a call for climate justice in behalf of
vulnerable nations like the Philippines, and to demand a strong, fair and
ambitious global climate agreement ahead of the international UN climate
talks that will start on Monday, November 30.
The Global Climate March consists of 60 other major marches, plus more than
2,300 events, in over 150 countries on the eve of the 21st Conference of
Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In the Philippines, communities across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are
holding a week of actions for climate justice from November 23 to 30, with
20,000 people expected to join.
In Quezon City alone, six marches carrying climate-related themes – Energy
Transformation; Right to Food, Land and Water; Justice and Reparations for
Affected Peoples; Protect our Common Home (after Pope Francis's encyclical
Laudato Si); Jobs and Just Transition, and Youth – were set out in major
roads in Quezon City and converged at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
Calling COP21 a
‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to take action, the climate marchers called on
world leaders to enact a bold and meaningful agreement that pursues the
Address the urgency of the
climate crisis with decisive, just, fair and ambitious actions nationally
Pursue transformation of
energy systems –no to dirty and harmful energy; shift to clean and renewable
energy for people and communities
Protect peoples' rights to
food, water and the commons
Guarantee the rights of all
people and communities; deliver justice and address the impacts of climate
including those particular to women and indigenous communities
Ensure a just transition for
workers and communities
Deliver climate finance needed
to empower people to deal with climate impacts, loss and damage and make the
transition to sustainable development pathways
Reject false solutions
Set global targets for
mitigation actions to keep temperature rise below 1.5 degrees; ensure
equitable and fair sharing of mitigation actions among countries and within
countries; deliver urgent short terms actions.
The Philippines, a tropical
archipelago besieged by an average of 20 storms yearly, is one of the countries
most vulnerable to climate change. In recent years it has been experiencing
significant climate change impacts such as super typhoons and other extreme
weather events when the average global temperature rise reached 0.8°C above
Recently, the UK Meteorological
Office announced that this 2015, the world experienced global temperature
increase of up to 1°C above pre-industrial levels.
In November 2013, super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) claimed more than 6,000 lives
and left thousands more homeless and without livelihood. Yolanda also wrought
over USD 14 billion in economic damages.
The Philippines pledged to reduce its emissions by 70% by 2030 in its Intended
Nationally Determined Contribution submission to the UNFCCC, but this pledge is
conditional on international climate finance and other support. The groups said
that the Philippine government should not only offer conditional pledges but
should also offer unconditional targets based on its fair share of the global
efforts. However, the Aquino administration is approving the construction of
more than 50 coal-fired power plants in the next few years.
The March for Climate Justice movement says that the main onus is on developed
countries. The groups also stated that developing country governments should
also deliver on their fair share and be firm in demanding climate finance from
developed countries in order to do more mitigation actions.