Below is an open letter and petition to governments of the rich industrialised nations, initiated by the Philippines Movement for Climate Justice. The PMCJ is a broad movement consisting of 103 national networks and local groups representing many grassroots communities across the Philippines.
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An Open Letter to the Governments of the United States, the European Union, Japan and other rich industrialised countries: On Climate Justice and the Need for Immediate and Drastic Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cuts:
In the Philippines, June marks the onset of the rainy season — usually a welcome shift from the torrid tropical heat of summer. We are not strangers to typhoons that come with monsoons and brace ourselves for floods and the destruction they bring in some areas of our country.
But in the past few years, we have experiences unprecedented extreme weather events — unprecedented not only in the magnitude and intensity of the typhoons, winds and rain and in the scale of devastation and loss, but also in the frequency of such events.
We speak about tropical cyclone Ketsana in 2009 — locally known as Ondoy, Typhoon Washi in 2010, locally known as Sendong, Tropical Storm Bopha last year, locally known as Pablo, and the southwest monsoon rains in August last year, locally known as Habagat.
Not surprisingly, this year, the German Watch Climate Risk Index identified the Philippines as the fourth most vulnerable country to the damaging effects of climate change.
Science and experience confirms the adverse consequences of unabated excessive emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). The impacts we are suffering now are only from 0.8 degrees Centigrade warming since 1900. Current commitments for emissions cuts by rich, industrialised countries — which account for 75% of the historical accumulated emissions and only 25% of the global population — put us in the path to 5 degrees centigrade increase in average global temperature before the end of this century.
Clearly your targets are not enough.
Climate change threatens not only our food, our health and safety, our homes, our livelihoods but also our very lives. It is the height of injustice that the people who are not responsible for the climate crisis are suffering the worst of its impacts and will suffer even greater catastrophes.
Our survival requires deep and drastic cuts in global emissions and keeping the rise in global temperatures well below 1.5 degrees. Science, equity and justice demands that the biggest reductions should come from the rich, industrialised countries through your domestic actions.
We have had enough of severely inadequate targets, unreliable pledges and flexibility mechanisms, passing of the burden to others through offsets, false solutions that only serve corporate profiteering in carbon markets.
We ask you, your corporations and your elites to face up to your responsibilities and pay reparations for the huge climate debt you owe to the peoples of the South and even your own people. Begin by cutting you greenhouse gas emissions — cut it deep and cut it now!
[Add your name to these demands.]