Fight for climate justice! Demand real solutions to the climate crisis!
On the 23rd of September in New York, the United Nations/Ban Ki Moon-led Climate Summit will bring together global climate stakeholders – political leaders, big business and selected civil society representatives in an attempt to consolidate the so-called “movement” and offer ways forward to end the climate crisis.
However, for grassroots and climate-affected communities here in the Philippines who bear little responsibility but suffer greatly the impacts of the crisis, the summit rings alarm bells and raises red flags. While it draws attention to itself as another arena that will catalyze climate action, the UN-led climate summit proposes the same false solutions already mouthed by those who have much to gain from the ‘greening of capital.’
Solutions such as voluntary pledges for emission cuts, market-based and destructive public-private partnership initiatives such as REDD+, Climate-Smart Agriculture and the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative have already been declared as the wrong direction in solving the crisis.
While the future of the world in the UN Climate Summit looks grim, we in the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), an organization of grassroots and climate vulnerable peoples and communities, see this as an opportunity to emphasize the fight for climate justice and demand to the supposed leaders of the world to heed the call of the peoples for real solutions to the climate crisis:
REAL SOLUTION 1. Cut and be just! Stop temperature rise below 1.5oC! Immediate, drastic cuts of global GHG emissions are urgently needed!
At the national level, we reject a development path fueled by the need to excessively consume energy powered through the dirty and harmful fossil fuel. Therefore, we demand a stop to new projects supporting this destructive path such as the building of new coal-fired power plants.
The Philippine Energy Plan’s direction is to build nine (9) more coal-fired power plants in addition to the 17 existing, and 15 more are being proposed. Also, there are 21 new coal mining permits bringing the total number to 60 coal mining existing permits. This is actually a clear deviation of the government’s own commitment to renewable energy with 11 strategies and enacted laws supporting it.
At the international level, we demand for the reinforcement of binding commitments – not voluntary pledges – to facilitate immediate, drastic reduction of all countries, particularly of the developed countries’, GHG emissions proportional to their historical responsibility, capacity and fair share.
We also call on the developing countries to live within their “carbon budget” to mitigate the rise in global temperature starting with the immediate transformation of their energy systems to sustainable and accessible renewable energy systems.
Furthermore, we strongly resist policies and initiatives that exacerbate the climate crisis such as resource extractivism (e.g. mining, logging, fracking and exploitation of oil).
REAL SOLUTION 2. Keep them coming: Climate finance for mitigation and a shift to low carbon economies!
We demand an end to the era of financing for dirty and harmful energies by international financial institutions, commercial banks and even government subsidizing private fossil fuel corporations.
We want public funds mobilized to accelerate the development and just transition to low carbon economies including use of renewable energy alternatives that are owned and controlled by the people.
These demands are not far-fetched as they are a fulfillment of the obligations of developed countries enshrined in the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).
REAL SOLUTION 3. Put in more and sufficient climate funds and transfer of technology for resilience-building and implementation of appropriate adaptation programs.
As fulfillment of the UNFCCC obligation at the national level, we push for the mobilization of funds for a people-centered/managed rehabilitation for Yolanda-affected areas that include the development of their resiliency and implementation of adaptation programs appropriate for their communities.
These measures should also be reflected in the needed adjustments to the national adaptation plan and the implementation of the local climate change action plans nationwide. Typhoon Yolanda will not be the end of the impacts of climate change in a country that is No. 2 in the map of the most vulnerable.
Internationally, we support moves for fast-tracking climate finance and technology transfer for developing countries’ adaptation initiatives.
Furthermore, we also demand loss and damage and reparations for climate debt. The loss and damage mechanism and facility should be an integral part of the next climate agreement.
REAL SOLUTION 4. Enough of false solutions! It is time to stop the reroutes and detours to real solutions
to the climate crisis!
We reject the further expansion of carbon markets and new market mechanisms, as well as corporate domination of the climate negotiations (REDD+, carbon trading and offsets).
We also resist the irresponsible use of technology and its claim that it can fix the climate crisis (geo-engineering, GMOs, hydraulic fracking, green coal, etc.).
All of these measures will only bring us to the worsening of the climate crisis.
TIME TO ACT! FIGHT FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE!
We have no more time to spare. Our survival is at stake. We urge the supposed leaders attending the United Nations Climate Summit to finally listen and heed to the demands and calls of peoples and communities like us who have long endured and suffered the destructive impacts of climate change.
We do not fight only for our survival but “climate justice” for all of humanity. We want a new system that espouses a life of dignity for all in a sustainable world, respectful of the rights of the future generations.
Be counted. Fight for real solutions. Climate justice now!