Oxfam Pilipinas urged the Philippine delegation currently engaging in climate talks in Egypt to carry through with its promise to hold accountable rich countries and companies who have heavily contributed to carbon emissions and the resulting climate crisis.
The call came after the release of a new Oxfam report detailing how the world’s richest people cause carbon emissions of a million times more than an average person.
“The Philippines needs ambitious, comprehensive and inclusive climate plans to survive and thrive in the face of this climate emergency,” said Oxfam Pilipinas country director Lot Felizco.
“The government should call for carbon majors or those who contributed the most carbon emissions to pay compensation and reparation for their historical and current emissions, on top of previous climate finance commitments,” she said.
Felizco said climate-vulnerable countries like the Philippines have the most to lose in the face of a climate emergency.
“We should be at the forefront of this fight as we ensure that climate-vulnerable countries are armed with enough resources and technology to both mitigate and adapt to climate change,” she said.
Oxfam Pilipinas was among non-government organizations that sent position papers to Environment Secretary Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, who is heading the country delegation at this year’s 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources earlier stated that the Philippine delegation believes that “addressing Loss and Damage is crucial for Philippine climate action plans” and that they will assert “what is due for the developing countries which hardly produce any greenhouse gas emissions, yet they suffer the most and continue to bear the brunt of the adverse impacts of climate change.”
The position paper emphasized the massive loss Filipinos experience when faced with extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change. Super-typhoon Rai (Odette) alone killed more than 400 people and resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage to agriculture, livelihood and infrastructure.
Oxfam Pilipinas called for climate plans that address the needs of communities most affected by the crisis, as well as their inclusion in the crafting of plans and policies.
The position paper asked the Philippine government to include the following points in the climate talk delegation’s policy agenda:
- Enforce accountability for real actions by high emitters on climate commitments made so far and increase the ambition of these.
- Secure climate commitments aligned with the needs and priorities of communities affected by the climate crisis.
- Ensure the prioritization of all women, girls, LGTBQI+ people and the most marginalized in policies and planning on adaptation, climate finance, loss and damage, just transition, etc.
- Ensure the inclusion and engagement of communities most affected by climate change (women, youth, indigenous peoples) in the UNFCCC negotiation process (e.g., on adaptation, loss and damage, agriculture, just transition, etc.)
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