Palace urged to declare 'climate emergency' by environment, youth groups

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2019 08:50 PM

Screengrab of Greenpeace Philippines video

MANILA -- Environment and youth activists on Thursday marched to Manila to send an open letter to Malacañang, and called on President Rodrigo Duterte to issue a ‘climate emergency’ declaration.

Advocacy group Greenpeace Philippines urged Duterte to enact an Executive Order declaring a climate emergency that will address the climate crisis and its impact on the country, and make it a government priority. 

“The Filipino people have been suffering from the impacts of climate change for decades now -- with a Climate Emergency Declaration, the government can mobilize unprecedented action for Filipinos to attain climate justice," said Lea Guerrero, country director of Greenpeace Philippines.

"By declaring a Climate Emergency, the Philippine administration acknowledges that resolving this global crisis should be a priority by the national government and the international community," added Jefferson Estela, co-founder of Youth Strike for Climate Philippines.

The open letter sent to Malacañang contained the following demands:

  • Put climate urgency at the center 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 UN recently held climate talks in Madrid, Spain, where parents from nearly 30 countries urged officials to act swiftly to curb climate change for their sake of their children, who they said were being harmed by worsening pollution and disasters.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is also investigating 47 fossil fuel corporations for "human-induced climate change."

- with a report from Reuters