Aksyon Klima Pilipinas recognizes the call of President Rodrigo Duterte for higher ambition and climate justice to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly. This is a timely intervention, as the world convenes for COP26 in Glasgow, United Kingdom to stop further global warming and climate change.
As the world faces threats from both the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, we echo his criticism of the inequalities that worsen the vulnerabilities of marginalized peoples to their respective impacts. These inequalities also affect how developing countries lack access to the necessary finance, technologies, and capacity-building mechanisms to effectively address both issues, whether we are discussing mitigation and adaptation strategies or the rollout of vaccines.
These realities raise the significance for the Philippines to actively engage in the upcoming Glasgow climate summit even more important. For the country to fully commit to playing its role in addressing this global issue, it must secure the necessary means of implementation to achieve much of the 75% emissions reduction it pledged under its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). The Philippine government must access all available options for funding and technologies to succesfully implement its adaptation and mitigation strategies, with respect to justice for vulnerable groups.
While the 75% target is in some regards ambitious, the decarbonization pathway towards achieving this remains unknown to the Filipino public. Whatever the trajectory may be, any form of coal power should not be included as part of the solutions. The coal moratorium currently being enforced would still allow many coal plants to be built, a flaw that must be remedied immediately. Nuclear power should also be excluded from all strategies, given its financial and security risks and the likelihood that prioritizing it would slow down renewable energy development that the country truly needs.
It is time for the Philippine government to translate these calls into actions, both at the global and local fronts. To meaningfully resolve the climate crisis, we must fully commit to urgent, just, inclusive, and effective climate action.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool