Doha talks are not just about climate change—but about our lives and our future: Greenpeace

Doha climate talks plod along as super-typhoon Pablo leaves trail of death and destruction

Press release - December 5, 2012
Doha/Manila — As the world’s leaders once again fail to make substantial progress in the continuing UN climate talks in Doha, thousands of communities in the Philippines are feeling the effect of super typhoon Bopha.

Typhoon Bopha (called ‘Pablo’ in the Philippines) made landfall yesterday, and pounded central and southern Philippines, leaving a trail of death and destruction. The official death toll is more than 200 people and an additional 213,000 were affected by the typhoon. Bopha is just the latest in a string of extreme weather events that have battered the archipelago in recent years. Last year, Typhoon Washi (Sendong) killed at least 1,300 people and left USD 48.4million in damages.

“The UN climate negotiations are not merely about carbon emissions reductions and financing—what’s under negotiation is people’s lives. We are negotiating our future here,” said Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director. “There should be no hold-up and no delays when lives are at stake and when the world’s future is at stake.”

Currently, the UN talks are the primary international platform for concerted global action to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. This year has already seen devastating storms, droughts and floods causing significant loss of life, including in the US, China, India, Africa and Europe. Faced with threats to homes, communities, economies and lives, governments meeting in Doha will be put to the test as to whether they are willing and able to take action and make binding commitments to protect their people.

“The UN climate negotiations have been plodding  along  for 18 years, and in that period the Philippines has been lashed by six out of the ten most devastating typhoons to have entered the country. What will the next decade look like for us if the talks continue without progress?” said Von Hernandez, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia is among the regions most vulnerable to climate change due to high population concentrations along its coastlines and its low capacity to adapt and respond. Within the region, the Philippines is expected to suffer most  from climate change impacts such as extreme weather events.

Scientists have warned for decades that pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere will cause the global average temperatures to rise and the result will be more and more extreme weather events, including fiercer storms and typhoons. A World Bank Report released last month, “Turn Down the Heat,” warns that the world is headed for a 4-degree temperature rise by the end of the century. The consequences for the world’s vulnerable nations will be devastating.

Greenpeace is calling for a fair, ambitious and binding global climate deal that will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, and lay down money from developed countries to help developing nations adapt to climate impacts.

Globally, Greenpeace is calling for an Energy Revolution, a massive shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy that will help reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.

“Solutions cannot be delayed, whether in international negotiations or at home. Governments must urgently forge a binding global deal that is equitable and ambitious,” said Hernandez. “And the Philippines, as party to these talks, must set a clear course for the transformation to renewable energy use, free itself from the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry, and dare to act in the interest of its people.”


For more information:

Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Zelda Soriano, Policy Advisor (currently in Doha, Qatar), +63 917 594 9424

Lea Guerrero, Deputy Communications Director (in Manila), +63 917 634 5136

Photos available. Contact Grace Duran-Cabus, Images Officer, +63 917 634 5126