Greenpeace willing to assist Palace in crafting climate emergency declaration
Climate and environmental activists hold a climate strike in the University of the Philippines on Sept. 25, 2020.
AC Dimatatac
Greenpeace willing to assist Palace in crafting climate emergency declaration
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - September 29, 2020 - 4:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — An environmental group said Tuesday it is willing to assist Malacañang in crafting a climate emergency declaration that would ensure that the government acts on the worsening climate crisis.

Greenpeace Philippines welcomed the Palace statement that President Rodrigo Duterte would look into the suggestion to declare climate emergency, which would ensure that climate change and its impacts on the lives of Filipinos is a top government priority.

“We believe this declaration can provide a much-needed impetus for a whole of government and whole of society approach to cooperate and respond proactively to the biggest challenge face by our country,” Lea Guerrero, Greenpeace country director, said.

“Declaring climate emergency is just a step to achieving climate justice for Filipinos, whose lives, homes and livelihoods are constantly at risk,” Guerrero said.

The group urged the president to make sure that the government’s actions do not stop at just demanding government to honor their commitments to the Paris Agreement but also holding fossil fuel companies—“the world’s biggest climate polluters”—accountable for the climate impacts that affect the lives of Filipinos.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Monday that addressing climate change is on the top of Duterte’s agenda.

‘Scientific, human rights leadership’

In a separate statement, environmental and climate activists called for the creation of a scientific and human rights body that would lead the implementation of the climate emergency declaration.

They said Duterte’s track record casts a shadow of doubt on his political will to declare a climate emergency.

“What else is there to consider when there is both a scientific consensus and a human rights imperative to declare climate change emergency in the Philippines? President Duterte must cede the current ‘business as usual’ pathway of leadership to a scientific and human rights body in implementing a climate emergency action plan,” Leon Dulce, national coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, said.

Mitzi Jonelle Tan of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines called for a moratorium on big mines, fossil fuels and other climate destructive projects.

The country’s climate strike movement launched a manifesto for a planetary emergency initiative,” which calls for a “green new leadership” that will undertake a just and green recovery plan, protect and support environmental defenders, accelerate the transition to clean energy, subsidize climate-resilient sustainable agriculture, and strengthen environmental and climate education.

“President Duterte must heed the leadership of the people who have fought in the climate frontlines long before him,” Chuck Baclagon, coordinator of climate action group Pilipinas, said. 

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