Climate-related disasters have claimed thousands of Filipino lives over the years. This tragic trend will continue to hit us hard unless our leaders take drastic measures to address these alarming directions.
Naderev “Yeb” Saño, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said strong typhoons “will get worse, more unpredictable, and more destructive should our institutions remain merely reactionary to the climate crisis.”
Rodne Galicha, executive director of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, appealed to everyone not to forget that “our worst imagined climate emergency is already a constant reality.”
Back in November 2013, the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (Loss and Damage Mechanism) was established.
The mechanism was established to address the loss and damage issues involving the impacts of climate change, targeting particularly developing countries that are most vulnerable.
The function of the Loss and Damage Mechanism is to focus on the promotion of the implementation of approaches related to loss and damage associated with climate change.
One of its aims is to “enhance function and support, including finance, technology, and capacity-building, to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, to enable countries to undertake actions.”
Now more than ever, this is what developing countries need — the initiative to provide technical support and guidance on approaches to address loss and damage, create financial mechanisms, and secure expertise.
World leaders should prioritize the creation of comprehensive financing systems aside from debt assistance that they are offering.
The initiative on financial relief should be seen from the lens that it is reparation rather than a bait for developing countries to accept the debt trap. In the first place, wealthy countries are the primary reason why we are at this alarming stage of the climate crisis.
Setting up contributions from wealthy countries and imposing taxes on transactions related to carbon emissions could be a good start.
When it comes to disbursement, government and non-government institutions may utilize the fund in line with national laws. Recipients should see to it that available resources should be directly delivered to communities hit by the climate crisis.
This should push through in parallel efforts to calls for accountability of the biggest polluters. To make polluters accountable will pave the way for climate justice and the protection of our planet, our common home.
Arjay “Jing” Barrios is a graduate of bachelor of arts in political science, and currently taking up law at the Arellano University School of Law. He is passionate about issues concerning indigenous peoples’ rights vis-a-vis climate emergency and food sovereignty.