Thousands join climate march in PH ahead of Paris talks
MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of key climate talks in Paris this week, thousands of Filipinos took to the streets on Saturday, November 28, to put pressure on world leaders to craft a pact aimed at mitigating the impact of climate change.
Advocates from the youth sector, religious groups, labor unions, renewable energy campaigners, and other concerned citizens joined the global climate march movement that saw tens of thousands of people all over the world participating in more than 2,300 events in over 150 countries.
The global rallies come on the weekend before the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held in the French capital.
In Quezon City alone, activists took to major roads in the city for 6 marches with climate-related themes – such as energy transformation; right to food, land, and water; and justice and reparations for affected peoples – converging at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
Joining the call for climate justice, the activists wanted to send a message stressing how disaster-prone countries like the Philippines are especially vulnerable to the devastating effects of global warming.
Just last week, the United Nations said more than 600,000 people have died since 1995 due to flooding, landslides, and other weather-induced catastrophes, highlighting the need for a new climate change agreement.
The March for Climate Justice Movement urged world leaders to create an agreement that would pursue the following demands:
- Address the urgency of the climate crisis with decisive, just, fair and ambitious actions nationally and globally
- Pursue transformation of energy systems – no to dirty and harmful energy; shift to clean and renewable energy for people and communities
- Protect peoples' rights to food, water, and the commons
- Guarantee the rights of all people and communities; deliver justice and address the impacts of climate including those particular to women and indigenous communities
- Ensure a just transition for workers and communities
- Deliver climate finance needed to empower people to deal with climate impacts, loss and damage and make the transition to sustainable development pathways
- Reject false solutions
- Set global targets for mitigation actions to keep temperature rise below 1.5 degrees; ensure equitable and fair sharing of mitigation actions among countries and within countries; deliver urgent short terms actions.
While the March for Climate Justice movement says developed countries that contribute more to the climate change problem should own up to their responsibilities, the groups also said that developing countries must deliver on their commitments and demand climate finance from developed countries.
In its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution submission to the UNFCCC, the Philippines pledged to cut its emissions by 70% by 2030. But this pledge is conditional on international climate finance and other forms of support. – Rappler.com