By Lidy Nacpil
We have a right not just to survive but to build a better home and future for our children
Last Sunday, we took part in the historic climate march in New York and added our voices to the urgent call to end fossil fuels.
The march capped hundreds of similar actions in Asia last September 15, with thousands of people joining mobilizations in multiple locations in 12 Asian countries, followed by actions in the Pacific, Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and North America.
We call for the release of young climate activists arrested in Uganda in the peaceful protests.
We are here to reiterate our call for all governments to take decisive bold actions for a rapid, equitable transition out of fossil fuels directly to renewable energy systems — with no loopholes, no exceptions, no false unreliable solutions that merely extend the life of fossil fuels and serve as an excuse to continue emitting greenhouse gases.
The current commitments are nowhere near enough — we need new commitments and agreements including an international treaty for the non proliferation of fossil fuels and a global phase out plan with clear timelines and fair sharing of actions to reach real zero by 2050.
As we all know the climate crisis has claimed millions of lives, wreaked devastating impacts on our health, livelihoods, food and water systems, caused trillions of dollars in damages to crops, homes and infrastructure, and triggered horrifying disasters such as super typhoons, unprecedented droughts and raging wildfires.
How much more pain, loss, suffering will it take for governments and corporations to do the necessary?
We urge governments to fulfill their duties and obligations to their people, to all of humanity.
We especially call on the governments of the wealthiest countries, who bear the biggest responsibilities for the climate crisis, whose commitments are the farthest away from their fair share of climate actions, and yet are fond of presenting themselves as climate champions.
The fair shares of these wealthiest countries include meeting their full obligations to deliver Climate Finance.
Climate Finance is so absolutely vital not only for adaptation, building resilience, and covering loss and damage.
It is fundamental for equity and fair sharing of efforts in the energy transition without which this transition will not succeed.
We, the people of the Global South, are not asking for aid or assistance.
Climate Finance is an obligation and part of Reparations for historical and continuing harms and injustices.
We have a right not just to survive but to build a better home and future for our children.
(Editor’s Note: Climate Finance refers to local, national or transnational financing – drawn from public, private and alternative sources of financing – that seeks to support mitigation and adaptation actions that will address climate change. The Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement call for financial assistance from Parties with more financial resources to those that are less endowed and more vulnerable. The Global South broadly comprises Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia without Israel, Japan, and South Korea, and Oceania without Australia and New Zealand, also according to the UNCTAD. The Philippines, considered part of the Global South because it shares many of these characteristics, is a developing country with high poverty rates and a significant informal sector, and it is heavily dependent on remittances from overseas workers and exports of raw materials.)
(Speech delivered at the UN Climate Ambition Summit on September 20 convened by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York by the author, the only Filipino and civil society leader to speak there. A Filipino human rights, environmental, gender and social justice activist, she is the coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development, a regional alliance of peoples’ movements, community organizations, coalitions, NGOs and networks).