Quezon City— Greenpeace Southeast Asia yesterday launched a unique photo exhibition that highlights the environmental damage and human suffering that climate change has caused in the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia.
“The people of Mindanao, the people of Africa, the people of Latin America- the people least responsible for carbon emissions- are the ones paying the price right now,” said Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace, speaking at the opening of the exhibition last night. “We believe that the world has still time to avert climate catastrophe. Yes, people are dying now, and we have failed them, but we can still protect the people on the planet if we act with urgency”.
Naidoo was referring to images of the suffering caused by Typhoon Pablo last December, and was echoed by Senator Loren Legarda who emphasized that failure to act against climate change will render millions of Filipinos climate refugees.
“Almost 2.7% of our GDP was blown away by Ondoy, 0.8% was blown away by the habagat last year, and Typhoon Pablo caused losses of billions of pesos in Mindanao,” said Leagrda. “We cannot allow the poorest of the poor to be climate refugees all the time”.
Senator Legarda was a key speaker at the Greenpeace photo exhibition entitled Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions in Southeast Asia, held at the Eastwood Mall in Quezon City.
Speaking before an audience of environmentalists and celebrity guests, Senator Loren Legarda expressed her support for the green group that has lobbied for the he Renewable Energy Law.
“We should push for the strict implementation of the Renewable Energy Act, not only because it is environment-friendly, but because it is also wiser, economically speaking. I am campaigning with Greenpeace for the strict implementation of this and other major environmental laws,” Legarda added.
“Politicians are not recognising that the problem is severe and that the problem is here: the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam are all vulnerable to the impacts of climate change”, said Von Hernandez. “But while the problem exists, there is reason still to be optimistic, with the work being done by our partners and communities on climate change, and also because of the work being done by individuals like Senator Legarda when it comes to climate change adaptation and in moving the country towards a low-carbon future”.
Kumi Naidoo flew in to attend the Manila opening of the exhibition which was previously showcased in other Asian cities like Jakarta, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
In April 2012, Greenpeace commissioned renowned regional photographers- to document climate change issues affecting key Southeast Asian countries. The region is poised for major economic growth, yet constantly hampered by ecological setbacks, such as the continued use of coal energy- the major contributor to climate change. Greenpeace hopes that through these images, Southeast Asian governments will heed the call to quit dirty fossil fuels and kick-start an Energy [R]evolution that will embrace the region’s incredible renewable energy potential. The photo exhibition features 40 images that show the impacts of climate change in vulnerable countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.
The Greenpeace photo exhibition Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions in Southeast Asia will run from June 3 – 12, 2013 at the Eastwood Mall in Quezon City. For more information, please go to http://bit.ly/climateimperative.
Anna Abad, Climate and Energy Campaigner, , +63917-8573330
Therese Salvador, Media Campaigner, , +63917-8228734