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Source: Greenpeace –

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Declaring a national climate emergency is now more urgent and necessary to determine what the government should prioritize to protect Filipinos from the ill effects of the climate crisis, Greenpeace Philippines said. The statement came following Malacanang’s acknowledgment of the need for permanent solutions to the impacts of the climate crisis [1]. 

Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement to form a Build Back Better Task Force ahead of plans to establish a Department of Disaster Resilience, Greenpeace Philippines Climate Justice Campaigner Virginia Benosa-Llorin said the government must not only focus on responding to and preparing for calamities but, just as importantly, must strengthen policies to mitigate the climate crisis and its impacts.

“The mandates of the new department and task force are similar to NDRRMC’s—which is to strengthen the government’s response to calamities. Disaster preparedness and response are vital, but we need to focus beyond disasters and address broader, systemic issues that are part of the problem in order to better mitigate climate impacts,” Llorin said. 

“What we see happening now is that a confluence of factors—not just the climate crisis—have led to flooding, loss of lives and livelihoods. Denuded watersheds, heavily silted rivers, and decades of short-sighted planning and governance amplify the effects of more intense and more frequent extreme weather brought on by the climate crisis.”

Greenpeace says that climate interventions must not be solely focused on moments of emergency, but must be mainstreamed in all policies, plans, and projects. These include, for example, city planning, infrastructure projects, permits for large-scale industrial activities, and fisheries and agricultural policies, among others. The full implementation of the country’s environmental policies must also be strengthened, because ensuring a healthy environment is one of the best ways to mitigate climate impacts on communities.

“What the country needs is a coherent strategy to address the climate crisis. It should be rooted in policies that protect people and climate on the basis of climate justice. A Climate Emergency Declaration places addressing the climate crisis as the foremost national priority and puts a  climate lens on all policy and decision making and implementation.”

The proposed climate emergency declaration covers calling on other countries, particularly industrialized nations, to enhance their emission reduction targets in order to meet the Paris Agreement. Greenpeace earlier expressed support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal for industrialized nations to cut their emissions[2], a key component in the organization’s call for climate justice.

Declaring a climate emergency also calls for establishing an enjoined whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to strengthen climate response; charging the relevant government agencies and the Congress to adopt policies and enact laws to protect the climate, on the basis of climate justice; direct public and private entities aligning their practices and/or business models to the goals of the Paris Agreement, and holding fossil fuel companies accountable for their share of responsibility for the climate crisis; and ensuring the Philippines’ rapid and just transition to a low-carbon pathway through a massive uptake of renewable energy solutions.

The call for a climate emergency declaration also comes as the country awaits the resolution to the Climate Change and Human Rights Inquiry, which sought into the responsibility of 47 multinational fossil fuel and cement companies for the human rights harms arising from climate impacts.

“Climate change is part of our new normal. It is already affecting our lives—stripping the poor of livelihood and safe living conditions. Without long-term solutions, it will continue to haunt us, especially the most vulnerable sectors,” Llorin added. 


Notes

[1] Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President Rodrigo Duterte is keen on climate emergency declaration | https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/11/17/Duterte-climate-emergency-study.html?fbclid=IwAR3SOffpzcZwd_W8cCN-vatifCf6FqUvkCwe9Sc4UPzPPR5RuqpUDab6f1Y 

[2] Greenpeace reacts to Duterte’s call for industrialized nations to cut emissions | https://www.greenpeace.org/philippines/press/10213/greenpeace-to-pres-duterte-hold-corporations-responsible-for-climate-impacts-on-filipinos/ 

Media contact 

Angeli Cantillana
Communications Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines
[email protected] | +63 998 595 9733 or +63 995 419 1496

MIL OSI NGO