Greenpeace Philippines has renewed its call to declare a national climate emergency that would outline the government’s priorities in protecting Filipinos from the adverse effects of the climate crisis.
According to Greenpeace Philippines climate justice campaigner Virginia Benosa-Llorin, the government’s focus should not be on calamity preparations and response but also on the strengthening of climate crisis policies.
“The mandates of the new department and task force are similar to (that of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), which is to strengthen the government’s response to calamities. Disaster preparedness and response are vital, but we need to focus beyond disasters and address broader, systemic issues that are part of the problem in order to better mitigate climate impacts,” Llorin said in a statement on Wednesday.
“What we see happening now is that a confluence of factors—not just the climate crisis—have led to flooding, loss of lives, and livelihoods. Denuded watersheds, heavily silted rivers, and decades of short-sighted planning and governance amplify the effects of more intense and more frequent extreme weather brought on by the climate crisis,” she noted.
Greenpeace reiterates need for nat’l climate emergency
Greenpeace said that climate interventions should not only be done whenever there is a calamity but should be implemented in all regulations, plans, and projects affecting the environment.
These include infrastructure projects, city planning, fisheries and agricultural policies, and permits for large-scale industrial activities.
“What the country needs is a coherent strategy to address the climate crisis. It should be rooted in policies that protect people and climate on the basis of climate justice. A Climate Emergency Declaration places addressing the climate crisis as the foremost national priority and puts a climate lens on all policy and decision making and implementation,” Greenpeace said.
A climate emergency declaration would also call on other countries, particularly industrialized nations, to improve their emission reduction targets to comply with the Paris Agreement.
“Climate change is part of our new normal. It is already affecting our lives—stripping the poor of livelihood and safe living conditions. Without long-term solutions, it will continue to haunt us, especially the most vulnerable sectors,” Llorin said.