June 20, 2019 Thursday
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) strongly supports the call of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for ASEAN countries to play its active and leadership role in addressing climate change in the global community and stand for climate justice.
In his statement during the 34th ASEAN Summit Plenary in Bangkok, Thailand early this month, Pres. Duterte urged ASEAN member countries to make developed countries accountable for climate change, and to assist adapt and build our resilience by advancing initiatives that care for the people and the environment.
“Cooperation is key. We highly support the President’s call upon ASEAN countries to join forces in calling out industrialized nations to counteract the threat of climate change. We need to send a very clear signal to the international community that ASEAN leaders are taking decisive climate action,” CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman said.
De Guzman stressed that the contribution of countries to climate change, and their capacities to survive its consequences, varies enormously. With innovation of their more advanced mechanisms, developed nations tend to emit more carbon footprints than those of the developing ones.
Furthermore, with little to no resources, vulnerable and developing countries will find it unviable, if not difficult, to catch up from these fast-progressing nations. This shows the need for developed countries to provide technologies and investments, in the form of climate finance, to developing countries as part of their mitigation efforts.
The most vulnerable countries, like the Philippines, that are least responsible for the climate crisis always carry the heaviest burden. In the recent Global Peace Index 2019 report, Philippines was listed as the most vulnerable to climate risks in terms of its overall natural hazard score, followed by Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China.
“We maintain that those with historical responsibility must shoulder the far greater burden of acting faster, sooner, and with far bigger accountability of keeping the long-term temperature goals to no higher than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, it's all hypocrisy from rich countries that have benefited the most from the burning of fossil fuels which heightened climate change,” he added.