QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Greenpeace Philippines today lauded the House of Representatives (HoR) for adopting resolutions supporting the call to declare a climate emergency, stating that the resolutions can be the starting point for the government to put climate action and climate justice at the center of governance. 

Bicol youth calling for the declaration of a climate emergency, days after the region was battered by typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses. © Bicol University Science Alliance Club

The Lower House on Thursday adopted House Resolution No. 1377, declaring a climate and environmental emergency to ensure “enhanced and coherent climate actions in the executive and legislative agenda of the government.” The resolution was authored by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, Climate Change Committee Chairperson Rep. Edgar Chatto, Bayan Muna Partylist’s Eufemia Cullamat, and the late Cebu City Rep. Raul del Mar. [1] 

Among the key components of the resolution is to call on major carbon emitters, locally and abroad, to take responsibility for climate change, reinvest in renewable and sustainable energy, as well as encourage local governments to issue climate emergency declarations. 

Albay Representative Joey Salceda’s House Resolution No. 535 was also adopted, eyeing an enjoined whole-of-government, whole-of-nation, and whole-of-society mobilization on disaster and climate emergency.  

Some of the provisions in the resolutions, including holding nations accountable and ensuring a rapid transition to renewable energy, are also reflected in Greenpeace’s demand for the national government to declare a climate emergency. Malacanang said this call will be considered, given that it is among the President’s priorities. [2] 

Greenpeace Philippines Campaigner Virginia Benosa-Llorin said following through with the resolutions is urgent and necessary as thousands of families continue to deal with the impacts of consecutive typhoons, which saw Filipinos, especially the youth, calling for accountability amid the climate crisis.

“We welcome the developments at the HoR and see this as a sign that our lawmakers are heeding the call of the people to put climate action at the center of government policy and decision making. We look forward to seeing urgent and aggressive congressional action on climate change following the passage of these resolutions,” Llorin said. 

Greenpeace notes that the top government officials, such as Finance Secretary Carlos Domiguez III, have also joined the call for climate justice. The environment group reiterated that the Philippines must now call for accountability from nations as well as corporations that have fuelled the climate crisis.

Llorin added: “The past typhoons have shown us that action not just at the local and national level are necessary. Aside from enacting a coherent whole-of-nation strategy to address the climate crisis, the Philippines must lead the call to hold corporations responsible for their significant contribution to the climate crisis and its impacts to people’s lives.”  

Notes to editors: 

[1] Greenpeace was among the civil society organizations that expressed support to Legarda and Chatto’s resolutions last June. In a position paper submitted to the House Committee on Climate Change, Greenpeace said lawmakers must pass bills that will hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their roles in driving climate change and inflicting harm on the Filipino people; demand other countries, particularly industrialized nations, to enhance their emissions reduction to meet the Paris Agreement’s aim of limiting global temperature rise within 1.5°C; institute and fast-track a 100% Renewable Energy by 2030 roadmap that is locally-oriented and has clear incremental timelines; and phase out coal-fired power plants while imposing a moratorium on new coal and fossil fuel investments.

[2] Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President Rodrigo Duterte is keen on climate emergency declaration https://www.cnn.ph/news/2020/11/17/Duterte-climate-emergency-study.html

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