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We are alarmed that sky lanterns continue to be used to mark the anniversary of an extreme weather event that has become a harbinger of what may be our “new normal” because of mankind’s continued use of products which we already know is bad for us and our planet.

The world has started to listen to survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan as the voice for communities around the globe who are at the front lines of climate impacts — those whose lives are changed forever because fossil fuels continue to be peddled by an industry that refuses to listen to reason and that chooses to ignore the facts that clearly warn of the grave dangers. It is a great dishonor to those voices, to those sectors made more vulnerable by climate change, and to those who lost their lives to Haiyan, to mark the tragedy with objects that also pose dangers to the health and lives of people, animals and the planet.

Similar to humanity not being able to pedal back from the devastation that carbon emissions already wreak on our climate, clean-ups are far from being sufficient or efficient enough to contain any harms resulting from the release of sky lanterns.

Eastern Visayas has become a rallying point for peoples around the world calling to stop emissions in the first place, to prevent others having to go through what the Waray people went through and continue to endure because of an extreme weather event. The local call not to release sky lanterns is not any different, and the disregard for that call is, ultimately, quite ironic.

Greenpeace will continue to amplify the call for climate justice and the call for humanity to already learn from our mistakes. Let’s listen to the Earth. Let’s listen to its inhabitants. Let’s listen to the voices and let each know that they truly matter.

Peace and love to the people embodying what “bayang sinirangan” means, from Greenpeace movements around the globe. You continue to inspire hope! We wish you a truly happy rebirthday!

Yeb Saño
Executive Director
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Tacloban, Philippines; 09 November 2018

Contact:

JP Agcaoili, Communications Manager, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines
jp.agcaoili@greenpeace.org, +639498891334