Civil society groups in the Philippines marked the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice by calling on governments to implement real climate solutions.
Grassroots movements, faith-based groups, non-government organizations, and multi-sectoral alliances staged simultaneous protest actions in 55 areas across the Philippines on December 9.
The demonstrations demanded “urgent climate action” at the 28th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, said governments “have been failing to fulfill their duties to take urgent action to solve one of the greatest crises threatening the survival of people and communities,” especially the poor.
Over 70,000 individuals have convened at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai. Attendees include government officials, climate scientists, activists, Indigenous peoples, and notably, an escalating presence of fossil fuel lobbyists.
However, the number of fossil fuel lobbyists has nearly quintupled in the past three years. In 2021, during COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, there were 503 fossil fuel lobbyists. This figure rose to 636 at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in 2022, before surging to an unprecedented 2,456 at this year’s COP28 in Dubai.
“In this crucial moment of COP28 negotiations, we call for clear agreements on fossil fuel phase-out, targets for renewable energy development, just transition programs, and the scaling up of climate finance delivery,” said lawyer Aaron Pedrosa, secretary-general of Sanlakas.
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Ian Rivera of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice urged the world’s wealthiest biggest polluter-countries to “deliver climate finance for this transition, as well as for adaptation and resilience-building measures in the Global South.”
The groups endorsed the Declaration and Call to Action made by the global alliance COP28 Coalition, outlining 12 demands, including an immediate ceasefire in Palestine, the phase-out of fossil fuels, climate finance for just transition, cancellation of unsustainable debt, and an end to greenwashing and false solutions.
Faith-based group Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc. said there is a need to change the existing social systems where big business interests “ravage nature and treat it without respect”.
“They over-extract and abuse nature up to the brink of extinction to satisfy their economic gains – to produce, sell more products, and earn more profit. This system is strengthened by government laws enabling businesses to utilize and process resources to contribute to economic development,” the group said in a statement.
The group said climate justice cannot exist “without acknowledging that nature is the primary nexus of the rights violations,” adding that people’s rights and nature’s rights “are interconnected”.
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