Environmental activists' climate change bike ride


Posted at Dec 13 2015 01:48 PM

MANILA - Hundreds of activists took to the streets in Manila on Sunday in a campaign for the environment as the landmark climate change summit in Paris drew to a close.

About 500 campaigners pedaled along Manila's main avenues, calling for cleaner air and for more action to help sustain the environment.

Activists waved banners and placards, urging governments and big business to prioritize the needs of the planet

People's Action for Climate Change spokesperson Giovanni Tapang said the deal in Paris was insufficient to address the issue.

"We are actually dismayed with what happened in Paris today. The interests of the countries like the Philippines had not been adequately addressed, leaving the decisions for countries and not having a very well-defined targets for emissions, actually makes it more difficult for countries like the Philippines for climate change," he said.

Mark Louie Aquino, spokesperson from the group Bikers Unite, said ordinary people should have more say on the issue.

"It is frustrating because those talking about the environment are the big powers with their own interests. It should be the regular people who should decide on what should be done to our environment," he said.

Hailed as the first truly global climate deal, committing both rich and poor nations to reining in rising emissions blamed for warming the planet, the agreement in Paris sets out sweeping long-term goals to eliminate net man-made greenhouse gas output this century.

The agreement creates a system to encourage nations to step up voluntary domestic efforts to curb emissions, and provide billions more dollars to help poor nations cope with the transition to a greener economy.

In some ways, its success was assured before the summit began: 187 nations have submitted detailed national plans for how they will contain the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, commitments that are the core of the Paris deal.

While leaving each country to pursue those measures on its own, the agreement finally sets a common vision and course of action after years of bickering over how to move forward.

The Philippines, which gets hit by an average of 20 typhoons yearly, has become a focus for the impact of climate change due to intensifying storms in recent years.

Haiyan, the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall, killed more than 6,000 people with its seven meter-high storm surges and displaced over four million people.