BATANGAS CITY, Philippines (20 November 2023) — Communities impacted by the consequences of fossil fuel operations marched on Monday toward the entrance to the Shell import terminal in Tabangao, Batangas City, demanding reparations for loss and damage dealt by these companies’ dirty business.

Residents of 12 towns in Batangas City—Calicanto, Sta. Rita, Sta. Clara, Wawa, Dela Paz, Simlong, Tabangao, Ambulong, Aplaya, Libjo, San Isidro, and Malitam—participated in the march towards the gate of the Shell compound. The participants dipped their hands in black paint and stamped them on a banner calling to “make climate polluters pay.”

The banner already bears handprints from communities previously visited by Greenpeace and the Rainbow Warrior: Tacloban, where survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) are calling for justice against fossil fuel polluters for the impacts of the climate crisis; and Bohol, where communities in sinking islands are struggling with rising sea levels exacerbated by climate change. It represents the communities’ solidarity toward a common call for climate reparations.

“We don’t need to be afraid, because what we’re fighting for is for all of us,” Simplicio Valdez from Brgy. Simlong, Batangas City said. “Just look at the youth; they will be the ones who will be gravely affected [by the climate crisis] if we do not take action now; parents like us will be the ones to blame if we do not fight for them. I am here now because I want help, even with this small contribution, to let people know that the heat we’re experiencing is no joke. Residents of our barangay are getting sick because of the fumes and heat caused by the plant near our community. We’ve been telling them about this but to no avail. We used to catch fish near our shores, but now we have to go farther out to the sea just to make a living. The large ships that dock in the plant have driven the fish away, and yet they still plan to build another plant near our community. This will add to the pollution of our land, air, and sea. How can we face our children if we don’t do anything about this?”

“Shell has known for decades that climate change is a threat, yet it continues to thrive on its destructive fossil fuel operations,” said Greenpeace campaigner Khevin Yu. “Meanwhile, vulnerable countries like the Philippines suffer the consequences at every stage of fossil fuel 

production—from their operations directly affecting the well-being of communities, to their emissions contributing to the worsening climate crisis.”

“We continue to highlight the severe health consequences resulting from the fossil gas plants in Batangas City, in addition to other associated hazards. Despite these concerns, the local health office of Region IV-A and the Department of Health have remained inactive. To date, there is no trace of the promised investigation report by the authorities,” Ian Rivera of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice said.

“We renew our plea for the formation of an impartial task force to thoroughly investigate the health impacts of the fossil gas plants on the neighboring communities. Transparency in sharing information is imperative, given the prolonged risk to lives over the year,” he added. 

Communities and climate advocates are demanding that oil and gas companies 1) acknowledge their disproportionate role in historical carbon emissions and commit to a just transition away from fossil fuels, 2) stop all fossil fuel expansion, and 3) pay up for the economic and non-economic losses and damages caused by climate impacts.

They are also urging the government to stand with climate-impacted Filipinos and push fossil fuel polluters to address these demands; moreover, bring these calls to the attention of world leaders, including in the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP28). 


Photos can be accessed here. Please credit to Basilio Sepe / Greenpeace

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