News Release

In Wake of Philippines Disaster, Wealthy Countries Reneging on Climate Commitments at Summit

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http://www.accuracy.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/132876629_11n.jpgJANET REDMAN, janet at ips-dc.org
Director of the Climate Policy Program at the Institute for Policy Studies, Redman said today: “Developed countries gathered in Warsaw for the UN climate summit have responded to the worst weather-related disaster to hit the Philippines not by stepping up the fight against climate change, but by reneging on their moral and legal commitments. Canada, Japan and now Australia have gone backwards — not forward — on moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And Australia has had the audacity to claim that supporting countries most vulnerable to climate change — like their island neighbors — shouldn’t be up to developed countries, even though these countries are responsible for the vast majority of climate pollution and agreed to make resources available when they signed the convention.

“What’s perhaps even more egregious is that the head of the UN climate convention, Christiana Figures, told parties gathered at a Business Day event held in parallel to the UN climate summit that coal is part of the solution to climate change. With leadership pushing dirty energy as a green fix, it’s no wonder that countries aren’t taking these talks seriously.”

The following analysts and activists from the Philippines are now in Warsaw (6 hours ahead of U.S. ET) at the climate summit which is scheduled to end on Friday:

MARIA THERESA NERA-LAURON, Skype: tetet.lauron, tlauron at iboninternational.org
Nera-Lauron is coordinator of the People’s Movement on Climate Change and is with the group IBON International, both based in the Philippines. She said today: “The devastation in the Philippines should be reason enough for everybody to increase ambition AND action. We cannot afford to be stingy (in commitments) and conservative (in vision) — the world needs drastic and urgent emissions cuts.”

IBON International just released their first update from the Warsaw summit, noting that “fault lines between developed and developing countries are becoming clearer” with wealthy countries like Japan, Australia and Canada withdrawing from commitments. See: “Abbott government abandons emissions reduction target range.”

The group also notes: “Corporate influence of the UNFCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] is also becoming even more evident at this year’s meeting. A report from the non-government Corporate Europe Observatory, COP 19 is the first UN climate talks to have corporate sponsorship, including ArecelorMittal [steel and mining conglomerate], Alstom [energy and transportation conglomerate] and BMW. Poland, the host government, also announced that it is co-hosting a summit with the World Coal Association in the second week of the climate talks.”

WALDEN BELLO, via Herbert Docena, herbertdocena at gmail.com
Bello is a member of the Philippine House of Representatives with the Akbayan (Citizens’ Action Party). Also a Foreign Policy In Focus columnist, Bello was a member of the boards of both Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Southeast Asia, which he helped set up. He recently wrote the piece “Hello Warsaw, This Is Haiyan Calling,” which states: “Countries like the Philippines and many other island-states are in the frontlines of climate change. Every year of massive and frequent disastrous climate events like Yolanda [called Haiyan outside the Philippines] and Pablo reminds them of the injustice of the situation. They are among those that have contributed least to climate change, yet they are its main victims.” Docena is a grad student studying in the U.S. who can connect media to climate activists from the Philippines now in Warsaw.

TESS VISTRO, vistrotess at gmail.com
Vistro is with the National Federation of Peasant Women in the Philippines.

CLAIRE MIRANDA, Clairemiranda08 at gmail.com
Miranda is with the group Jubilee South and spoke at the opening plenary session of the climate summit. See video.

LIDY NACPIL, lnacpil at gmail.com
Nacpil is with the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. She recently wrote the piece “Super Typhoon Haiyan: World Must Act on Climate Change” for the Huffington Post.

GERRY ARANCES, gerry.arances at gmail.com
Arances is with the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice and was featured on the program “Democracy Now!” this morning.