5 reasons why you should join the campaign for climate justice
November 23, 2015
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges humanity is facing today. Climate change is a consequence of the unnatural warming of the surface of our planet, due to excessive concentrations of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere. Since the start of industrialization, the average temperature of the surface of the earth has risen to nearly 1 degree Celsius. This warming is causing the destabilization of the earth’s climate systems with devastating consequences for people and all living things. Global warming and climate change are caused by humans and our energy and economic systems. We can prevent the situation from reaching greater catastrophic levels, and address its causes.
Now is the time to join hands, and bring together our collective strength, wisdom and power as Filipinos and join with people all over the world working for climate justice.
1. It is about our survival.
Climate change has huge impacts on our lives, our families and communities, our country, and the whole world. Filipinos are no stranger to one of the features of climate change – extreme weather events. In the last few years we have been experiencing unprecedented super-typhoons and periods of intensely heavy rains – Ondoy, Habagat, Pablo, Sendong, Yolanda and others – with increasing frequency and magnitude. These climate change-related calamities caused thousands of deaths, the loss of homes, livelihoods and the dislocation of millions of people, and the devastation of thousands of hectares of agricultural lands that will take years to recover.
2. It’s about the need for urgent action
The situation is already serious and it will get much worse. We only have a short window of time to prevent climate change from reaching tipping points and greater catastrophic levels, and this window is closing rapidly. According to scientists, in order to stop the increase of the earth’s temperature at the lowest still possible – below 1.5 to 2.0 degrees Celsius – the rich countries have to be near zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2030 and for all countries to be near zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 20150. For this to be possible, we have to change our energy and economic systems in a profound way and do this immediately. If we delay or move too slowly in the next 10 to 15 years, we will no longer be able to prevent climate catastrophe.
3. It is about justice
While climate change affects everyone, its impacts are not evenly distributed. Race, gender, economic status determines how we are affected and how we survive and cope with the impacts of climate change. Countries and peoples who have least contributed to the cause of climate change and have least benefited from the system that cause it - suffer its worst impacts and have the least resources to deal with its consequences. Those who bear the biggest responsibility for climate change and have benefited the most from it – elites, corporations, governments, rich countries – have the obligation to contribute the most to its solutions, and provide the means for affected people and communities to deal with the impacts of climate change. Climate actions and solutions should be equitably and fairly shared across countries and across classes, sectors and communities.
4. It’s about the need for public pressure and people power – in the Philippines and worldwide.
Climate change is a global problem and requires global solutions. Corporations and governments have been delaying and obstructing urgent actions and solutions to climate change. Governments of 195 countries meet every year to negotiate with the purpose of reaching international agreements and decisions on climate actions. And every year they fall short of delivering that the world needs. Corporations have been influencing this international process and as well as national processes to prevent strong climate policies because they want to maintain their “business-as-usual” as much as and as long as possible so they can keep making super profits. We need to exert public pressure and use people power to compel governments to do the right thing and weaken the power of corporations over our lives and our future.
5. It’s about joining a passionate and diverse movement.
People from all over the Philippines and all over the world – youth and students, citizens groups, community organizations, indigenous peoples, women’s movements, faith-based groups, environmental organizations, trade unions, farmers and other sectors – are getting together to fight against climate change and work for transformation of energy and economic systems.
On November 30 to December 11, the governments of 195 countries will meet in Paris to finalize and adopt a new international agreement on climate. Join us on November 28, 2015to convey our messages our government and all governments and demand that they fulfill their obligations, address the urgency, pursue real, just and effective solutions, and put us on a road to social transformation.