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Climate group challenges Duterte’s climate change agenda

FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) has challenges Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte to make true to his promise of “change is coming” when he was still campaigning for the highest post.

 

With only a matter of formality, Davao City Mayor Duterte will step in as the 16th President of the Philippine Republic come July 01, 2016.

 

Early last week, presumptive President Duterte unveiled his administration’s 8-Point Economic Agenda. On top of his agenda, Duterte is set to continue and maintain the current macroeconomic policies.

 

He will also ensure attractiveness of the Philippines to foreign direct investments by addressing restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution and our laws and enhancing competitiveness of the economy.

 

“It is alarming that if we maintain our current macroeconomic policies and make our economy more liberalized, our country will be more vulnerable to climate change impacts” said Philippine Movement for Climate Justice National Coordinator Ian Rivera.

 

“During the last 5 years, we have experienced strong typhoons and prolonged severed drought as a result of climate change. These impacts  cost us billions of pesos in damages and led to the loss of thousands of lives in a relatively short span of time.  Duterte’s 8 – point agenda needs serious “climate proofing,” added Rivera.

 

Government and leaders around the world are taking climate change issue very seriously. “We cannot afford a “business-as-usual” attitude within the next six years. Certainly, drastic policies and actions must be taken if we aim to make our country and people survive the catastrophes in the future,” Sanlakas Secretary General Atty Aaron Pedrosa pointed out.

 

PMCJ also stresses equally pressing issue of energy in the country. ”We stand at a very crucial stage in the energy discourse, where there is a growing rejection of dirty energy both locally and internationally,” said Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) Convenor Gerry Arances.

 

“Dirty energy has not only been proven to be a risk to the environment, health and livelihood of communities, it is also been scientifically proven to be a risk to the economy and development,” he added.

 

Arances noted a recent study from the Oxford University has found out that coal facilities will soon turn into stranding assets which will prove to be economic liabilities in the future given the economic and environmental risks they pose.

 

PMCJ outlined its 8-Point Urgent Demands on Climate Change to which the new administration must consider upon assumption of office.

 

  1. Lead in calling for deep and ambitious emission reductions by rich and industrialized countries within the shortest time possible and commit  to Philippines’ 70% reduction as   embodied in the country’s Intended             Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs);

 

  1. Call for rich and industrialized countries to finance in the form of grants to address climate change impacts in the country;

 

  1. Impose moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in the country pending the conduct of thorough investigation of all coal power plants in the Philippines;

 

  1. Phase-out coal power plants and other power plants that use harmful and dirty fuels;

 

  1. Stop coal and other mining projects in the country;

 

  1. Pursue a Swift Transition to Clean and Renewable Energy for People and Communities. Review and revise the country’s energy and power             generation laws       including EPIRA and support the wider implementation      of Renewable Energy Act of the Philippines; Review and revise the      country’s energy and power generation laws including EPIRA and     support the wider implementation of Renewable      Energy Act of the             Philippines;

 

  1. Pursue people-cantered rehabilitation and adaptation plan;

 

  1. Formulate strategic action plan that will address El Nino, La Nina and other climate-induced calamities. (JCA)

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