Marcos Jr. urges developed states to rectify climate injustice

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Marcos Jr. urges developed states to rectify climate injustice
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. inspects the Airport to New Clark City Access Road (ANAR) on February 21, 2024.
STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Developed countries should do more and act immediately to rectify climate “injustice,” President Marcos said yesterday, as he called for a multilateral approach to pushing back climate change.

Addressing the Australian parliament in Canberra, Marcos said the Philippines accepts and is doing its part in the collective responsibility to address climate change. He pointed out that the Philippines is in danger of becoming a net carbon sink, absorbing more carbon dioxide than it emits.

“Yet, we are one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, ranking first in the 2023 World Risk Index,” Marcos said.

“This glaring disproportion between our share of responsibility and our vulnerability reflects an injustice that must be corrected. Developed countries must do more. And they must do it now,” he added.

Marcos said his administration is committed to accelerating just, affordable, sustainable, and inclusive energy transition towards carbon neutrality. But he also cited the need for multilateralism to work to address the problem.

“This is particularly important given the scope of global cooperation needed to address our most pressing vulnerability – one that threatens the very survival of our peoples, one that threatens our very future. I speak, of course, of climate change,” he said.

According to Marcos, the collaboration among countries in the United Nations demonstrates the importance of building bridges and forging consensus towards “decisive” multilateral solutions. “We cannot allow geopolitics to paralyze global governance,” the President said.

During the 28th Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Dubai last December, countries agreed to create a loss and damage fund that would finance climate change-related projects.

According to the UN Climate Change, the agreement marked the “beginning of the end” of the fossil fuel era and set the stage for a “swift, just and equitable transition, underpinned by deep emissions cuts and scaled-up finance.”

The Philippines, which is hit by about 20 cyclones every year, has secured a seat in the inaugural Loss and Damage Fund Board, providing it with a voice in the management of the funding for climate projects.

Good progress

In his remarks, Marcos also said the Philippines and Australia have made “good progress” since signing their strategic partnership last year. The two countries, the President added, are working together to promote and enhance the flow of environmentally sustainable investment and to explore cooperation on mineral resources development and climate and energy transition.

“Ultimately, our partnership finds its anchor in our common commitment to ensuring that this region keeps to the path of peace, builds resilience, remains focused on delivering dividends to our citizens and our communities,” Marcos said.

“Beyond our bilateral horizon, we project the commitment in our continued adherence to ASEAN Centrality, which we will have the opportunity to reaffirm at the Special Summit between ASEAN and Australia in Melbourne next week,” he said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on March 4 to 6.

Marcos assured Australian lawmakers that Manila is collaborating closely with Canberra on strengthening international security and universal adherence to international humanitarian law.

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