Climate and Environment

Marcos urges rich nations to fulfill climate obligations

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:05 p.m.) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called on industrialized nations to immediately cut their greenhouse gas emissions and provide financial assistance to developing countries like the Philippines as the impacts of climate change grow.

In a speech during the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time), Marcos said that “climate change is the greatest threat affecting our nations and our peoples.”

But he stressed that its effects are uneven and reflect historical injustice, with the least responsible countries such as the Philippines bearing the brunt of climate change impacts.

The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts such as strong cyclones, flooding, and sea level rise. 

“This injustice must be corrected, and those who need to do more must act now,” Marcos said.

He then urged developed nations to fulfill their climate obligations such as slashing their planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, and providing climate financing and technology transfer for adaptation to the most vulnerable and developing countries.

World leaders and non-government organizations will gather at the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh in November for the COP27 climate talks. COP27 will focus on the implementation of climate pledges.

The finance issue, a sticking point at climate talks, will likely dominate the conference in Egypt.

Marcos also said the country accepts its share of responsibility and will continue to do its part to “avert this collective disaster.”

“When future generations look back, let them not ask why we did not take this opportunity to turn the tide, why did we continue in our profligate ways, until it was too late?” the president said.

“This threat knows no borders, no social class, nor any geopolitical consideration.  How we address it will be the true test of our time,” he added.

Concrete plans needed

Groups such as Greenpeace Philippines and Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment called for clear plans for climate action and climate justice, as well as the protection of environmental and rights defenders.

“The President’s calls for solidarity and sustainability at the UNGA need to go beyond platitudes and must be reflected in the actual policies of his administration,” said Lea Guerrero, country director of Greenpeace Philippines.

“At present, we hear all this talk about climate justice, climate action, protecting biodiversity, ensuring food security, and upholding justice and human rights, but, in reality, most developments on the ground and the administration's policy direction are leading us away from these purported aspirations,” she added.

Both groups criticized Marcos for calling for climate action at the UN general assembly while aggressively pursuing fossil gas expansion and nuclear energy development.

“All we are getting from Marcos Jr. so far are flowery statements while millions of Filipinos suffer directly from the impacts of our ongoing economic and ecological crisis,” said Jon Bonifacio, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.




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