BBM challenged to declare a national state of climate emergency; Climate activists and faith-based groups commit to do the same and take Bold Actions
Quezon City, 20 April 2023 – In celebration of Earth Day, climate activists and concerned citizens march to the Mendiola Peace Arch on April 20, 2023, to hand over to President Ferdinance Marcos, Jr. petitions of civil society organizations urging him to declare a climate emergency.
With climate change becoming increasingly evident through extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and the loss of biodiversity, the urgency to act on the ongoing climate crisis cannot be understated. The declaration of a climate emergency would signal that our government recognizes the gravity of the situation and is willing to take bold action to mitigate its effects.
“We are declaring that we are now in a state of climate emergency and we commit to do sustained and bold actions to help slow down environmental deterioration, with sustained regenerative actions to restore ecological balance. Likewise, we shall challenge the government to declare a climate emergency and take the lead in fulfilling its mandate to protect the well-being of both nature and people, ensuring that a clear and comprehensive plan containing strategic and urgent actions is put in place to address climate change impacts.” Yolanda Esguerra, RoN PH Steering Committee Member and PMPI National Coordinator stressed.
The protest intends to manifest to the government that there is a growing clamor by its citizens to take urgent action on the climate crisis. Over a hundred and sixty institutions – dioceses, schools, parishes, non-government organizations, and people’s organizations have already declared a climate emergency and this is increasing by the day. They have committed to take concrete steps to address it and challenge the government to do the same at this most critical time. It calls on the President to urgently implement policies and programs that will address the root causes of climate change.
“We are calling for a swift transition to a low-carbon economy, the protection of natural habitats and ecosystems, and the adoption of just, pro-people, and sustainable economic development practices across all sectors. We invite everyone to join us in calling out our leaders and to raise our voices for the dignity of our common home and for our future generations,” said Fr. Tony Labiao, CBCP Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary.
The Citizen’s Declaration of Climate Emergency is a year-long campaign initiated by the Rights of Nature PH with other civil society groups to mobilize our fellow Filipinos to an all-out national approach in addressing the climate crisis, highlighting the responsibility and accountability of our government leaders and duty bearers to respond to the crisis but also doing their share.
Other civil society organizations which are staunch campaigners for climate justice also joined in the cacophony of voices reiterating their call to declare a climate emergency.
“The most marginalized people and poorest countries will be the first victims of the impacts of climate change. Already we are experiencing disasters that have resulted in further impoverishment of our people. Our government leaders need to exact justice from countries that are the major culprit of global warming. We can’t afford to do nothing in the midst of the impending biodiversity collapse”, climate justice activist Ian Rivera from the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice reiterated.
“All citizens should take action. Climate change is becoming an existential issue globally. Pope Francis calls on all peoples to an ecological conversion. Immediate actions to address the climate emergency should be our utmost concern”, opines John Din, of Columban Missionaries and National Coordinator of Laudato Si Movement.
Other networks and groups involved in the action are the Conference of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines, Alyansa Tigil Mina, the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, and the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development.
Keep it down to 1.5C!
Declare a Climate Emergency now!
Climate Justice Now!
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